Health Minister: Coronavirus Crisis Almost Done in Lebanon

AP / Bilal Hussein

Lebanon’s health sector saw several positive signs of progress in the past few days. The total of recoveries recently exceeded 100 and, for the first time since the pandemic started, the Health Ministry recorded zero new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases on Tuesday.

The promising indications prompted Health Minister Hamad Hasan to encourage the public to continue to endure the lockdown by proclaiming that the “coronavirus storm is coming to an end in Lebanon.”

However, that is not to assume that the lockdown is over, nor does it imply that people should change their commitment to the preventive measures.

As declared by Health Minister Hasan, the test results of Sunday, which revealed only 1 new case on infection, are not enough on their own to form a deduction on the current health situation in the country.

This is clear from the fact that the daily infections counter hit 5 on Wednesday, within 24 hours of reaching the all-time low of 0 infections.

It’s normal for infection rates to oscillate within reasonable parameters at this stage, as long as the active preventive measures remain intact.

After the encouraging results, the Health Ministry is “taking precise steps to reach a clearer stage, on which more than one measure can be implemented, in light of the difficult economic situation,” Hasan explained on Monday.

One of these measures involves raising the number of daily PCR tests to “more than two thousand tests per day, to assess the epidemiological situation of the virus in Lebanon.”

The World Health Organization’s representative in Lebanon, Iman Al-Shanqeeti, recently praised the effective containment policy of the Ministry of Public Health.

With that said, WHO Lebanon also emphasized that any loosening of general quarantine measures “should be gradual,” warning that if restrictions are lifted prematurely, “there will be a return to infection.”

In the coming days, the Lebanese cabinet will decide whether the general mobilization will be extended again based on a review of the health situation in Lebanon.

Get the latest news and updates about the coronavirus outbreak in Lebanon along with a live monitor of cases in Lebanon as well as resources and information to help you guide the outbreak on our dedicated coronavirus page.