Lebanese Health Expert Considers The Latest Lockdown “Successful”

Joseph Eid

Dr. Firass Abiad, considered Lebanon’s leading health expert in the fight against COVID-19, said on Monday that Lebanon’s total lockdown restrictions have been successful in halting the surge of COVID-19, yet it is not over yet.

The Head of the Rafik Hariri Hospital stressed that as long as the required preventive measures continue, tangible results will not appear until May.

“Although a rapidly deteriorating situation has been stabilized, there was still evidence of high spread of the virus within communities, and hospitals remain at limited capacity,” Abiad warned.

Abiad stated that Lebanon was level 4 in “the highest risk stages” of the pandemic according to the classification of the World Health Organization. He also mentioned that Lebanon’s virus death rate is 21st in the world in comparison to the size of its population.

Yet, during an interview with Al-Jadeed, Caretaker Minister Hamad Hasan said that “control over the widespread outbreak of the epidemic will begin to show within the next two weeks.”

Abiad contradicted the Minister of Health, saying that concerns regarding the spread of the virus remain, with a new emphasis on the more contagious UK variant, which is starting to spread in Lebanon.

The Head of the Rafik Hariri hospital urged the relaxation of lockdown measures in a gradual manner, otherwise, the country risks more harm than good.

Abiad affirmed that the vaccine will be released soon and quickly, with a focus on the ones at risk, including frontline health workers, those over the age of 75, and citizens with chronic illnesses.

He also said that, during this week, the Health Ministry and the Information Ministry will begin a public awareness campaign on the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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