The Minister of Public Health, Doctor Firas Abiad, just issued a statement explaining the details concerning the missing money of PCR tests at the Beirut airport.
The Health Ministry forwarded the file to the Court of Audit’s Public Prosecutor, Judge Fawzi Khamis, who has opened an investigation into the matter.
The ministry is waiting for a decision “to answer the basic question, which is the fate of the money that had been paid for these tests over the previous period and that airlines had already cashed in.”
According to the statement, the Health Ministry reduced the cost of the current PCR test upon arrival to $30 per person when airlines have been charging $50 per person.
“Continued [PCR] testing at the airport is necessary due to a large number of incoming infections, sometimes exceeding 300 per day, with direct threats to contacts and the safety of the community environment,” the statement concluded.
This comes in response to the scandal related to the proceeds of the PCR examination, which took place last week, and which sparked anger after depriving the Lebanese University of its agreed-upon revenues in cash dollars.
The former Health Minister had signed an agreement with ground service providers at Beirut airport and with the Lebanese University, requiring each passenger coming to Lebanon to pay $50, which in turn is deducted from the value of the ticket paid by the passenger by Cheque in U.S. dollars or through credit cards.
Local media reported that the sharing of the $30 per PCR at the airport is as follows: $12.5 for the Lebanese University, $5 for the Ministry of Health, $5 for the Ministry of Works, and $7.5 for an association.
The exposing news triggered the intervention of the judiciary that proceeded with a quick investigation into the case.