According to NNA, Rafic Hariri Governmental University Hospital just recorded its first coronavirus death, making it the first death occurring due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Lebanon.
Another three patients are reported being in serious or critical condition.
The patient was transferred on Thursday, March 3rd, from Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Notre Dame des Secours (Sayedat Al Maounat Hospital) in Jbeil to Rafic Hariri Hospital in Beirut after confirming that the patient was suffering from symptoms consistent with coronavirus (COVID-19).
The patient has reported arrival to Lebanon from Egypt, a country in which, at the time, was not considered high risk. The patient, which is now the first coronavirus-related death in Lebanon, did not reportedly receive proper care immediately.
The patient suffering from the virus was not offered the medical examination for COVID-19 at the time of their arrival.
The patient coming from Egypt rushed to Sayidat Mauonat Hospital in Jbeil after suffering from a fever and symptoms similar coronavirus’. Upon detecting the virus, the hospital contacted Rafic Hariri Hospital.
Ministry of Health sources told Al-Jadeed that the patient who died was five days late to be hospitalized during which the patient took antibiotics at home. Sources said the patient suffered from a health exhibitor resulting from a defect during the hospitals’ transfer process.
Sayidat Al Mauonat Hospital announced in the statement once confirming the coronavirus (COVID-19) case:
“Immediately upon receiving the aforementioned patient, the Ministry of Public Health informed us that no special examinations were necessary because the country from which the patient comes from is not an epidemic.”
“After suspicion of the infection with the coronavirus,” the statement explained, “all the necessary preventive measures were taken and the patient was isolated in an equipped room until the issuance of the results of these examinations.”
“The hospital monitored all procedures to sterilize all departments and common locations and took necessary measures to maintain the safety of patients and visitors and the medical, nursing, and administrative staff,” the statement concluded.
The ministry explained in the following statement: ” The Ministry of Public Health has chosen not to engage in polemics in a case that concerns the health of the Lebanese, at a time when it devotes all its efforts to confronting the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.”
The statement proceeded to say, “however, the persistence of some in the intimidation and insulting of the Ministry and the confusion that was raised to cover the failure to deal with this situation in the aid hospital requires clarifying the following:”
“First: It is true that the Ministry of Public Health, when requested to analyze the samples, initially refused, in line with the directives of the World Health Organization.”
“WHO provided the ministry with laboratory analysis materials and requested that the limited use of the limited quantity to be limited to suspected cases, i.e. coming from an affected area and Egypt is not among them.”
“However, based on clinical data, the Ministry agreed to analyze the samples the following day,” the statement explained.
“Second: We ask whoever considers himself a leading university hospital, why did they not provide with their own capabilities the means of laboratory analysis like other university institutions? Is this not one of their [the hospital] duties?”
“Here we point out that in the same period a case was suspected in another university hospital where the patient was professionally isolated and the analysis was done in the hospital’s private laboratory.”
The Ministry’s statement explained that when the result appeared positive, the patient was referred to Rafic Al Hariri Hospital before the patient’s condition deteriorated without any controversy.
“Third: It is known that there is no special treatment for coronavirus, but that the care is related to the treatment of frequencies and subscriptions, and this treatment is the same, whether the cause is the coronavirus, influenza or otherwise.”
The ministry also accused the hospital in Jbeil for the lack of immediate confirmation of coronary infection which “does not justify unprofessional use, neglect and the commission of mistakes that led to the tragic deterioration of the patient’s condition.”
“Fourth: Since the patient was connected to the respiratory system in an isolated room in this university hospital that prides itself on having developed capabilities and competent doctors, the hospital was supposed to continue treating this patient and not to seek media and political intimidation to get rid of the patient and endanger the patient’s life and the life of the Red Cross medics at risk by transferring it to Beirut.”
The hospital noted that when the patient arrived at the Hariri Hospital emergency, the patient was in a state of suffocation with a slowing of the heart (pulse 40), oxygen saturation (50%), and the absence of a breathing tube in its correct location.
According to the ministry, Sayidat Al Maounat did not send the patient’s file as required by the rules but was replaced by a brief and unprofessional report.
“The time has come for such prestigious private hospitals, which have benefited over years of the funding from the Ministry of Health and official guarantors, to assume their full responsibilities in difficult days the country is going through, as it faces a global epidemic that will sooner or later overcome the capacity of Hariri Governmental University Hospital,” the ministry’s statement concluded.
The patient was already in a critical condition upon arrival to RHUH and was pronounced dead on Tuesday, March 10th, making the patient the first coronavirus death in Lebanon.