Beirut Airport Just Installed New Anti-Smuggling Detectors

For a couple of days now, pictures of new equipment installed at the Rafic el-Hariri airport in Lebanon circulated online.

These devices were claimed to reveal Coronavirus patients while they are still at the airport, as a means of precaution since Lebanon is still receiving flights from infected countries.

Even though there was still no official statement from the airport management and the authorities that this was the purpose of this equipment, the Lebanese people nevertheless rejoiced, feeling reassured.

Ever since the first Coronavirus case in Lebanon was confirmed, the Lebanese government and ministry of health were highly and severely criticized.

According to the Lebanese people, the government wasn’t taking enough measures to avoid the import of Coronavirus.

Even though the infected patient had arrived in Lebanon on an Iranian plane, Beirut airport still receives flights coming from Iran and Italy, where the virus outbreak has been spreading.

Lebanon hasn’t yet banned their airplanes from landing in Beirut while other countries had already done so in their cities.

Therefore, the circulating pictures of the new machines reassured the people until an official statement came from the General Directorate of Internal Security Forces. The job of these devices, as it turns out, is not related to detecting Coronavirus cases.

In response to the circulating news in that regard, the ISF issued a statement clarifying that these new devices have for purpose to detect, quickly and with precision, any product smuggled in the body and clothing.

These devices will be operating soon by the ISF airport’s inspection unit. 

The statement pointed out that these devices abide by the standards of the most important airports in the world, and take into account the personal privacy of arriving passengers.

It is a positive move from the authorities to be taking extra measures against smuggling, which should have done long before.

However, in times when the World Health Organization is fearing a pandemic of the Coronavirus and Lebanon could risk being hit like any other country, the focus is expected to be instead on the current issue that threatens the lives of the Lebanese people.

The Lebanese people are very concerned, knowing by long experience that our governments have always tended to leave major issues unattended until they turn into mostly unsolvable crises instead of preventing them.

Hence the objections continue, and the list of revolutionary demands is getting longer. The people are now demanding the immediate suspension of flights from affected countries and a 14-day “health arrest” of all passengers of flights with an infected case or more. 

It has been quite fascinating that it is the citizens who need to tell the authorities what should be done for the sake of the country and the people’s wellbeing.