Health Minister Seriously Warns Lebanon May Go Into Total Shutdown

Nabil Ismail

In an interview with Sky News Arabia on May 24th, the Minister of Public Health Hamad Hassan revealed that Lebanon may be facing complete shutdown if and when the number of hospital beds for infected patients becomes insufficient.

“Lebanese Minister of Health: We may go to completely shutting down the country when the number of beds infected with coronavirus becomes insufficient”

After successfully flattening the curve, Lebanon finds itself fighting the second wave of the virus. As of now, there are over 1,000 infected cases.

The good news is that there are many recoveries. Almost 60% of the cases are mild and nearly 35% of cases are asymptomatic, according to reports from the Ministry of Public Health citing information from the Epidemiological Surveillance Program. Around 6.4% are severe cases.

It remains that the surge of new cases has prompted the government to order another two-week lockdown for the fifth time.

However, the number of people disregarding the government’s decisions is evidence that people are getting tired of being in isolation and can’t afford more lockdowns with the suffocating economy.

In his opinion piece ‘Why the Lebanese Government Can’t Do Another Total Lockdown’, activist and biologist Gino Raidy says he believes the purpose of a lockdown seems lost on the government.

He asserts that shutting down is important initially, only to buy time for the country to prepare itself to “reopen in a world where this novel coronavirus is here to stay.”

Raidy suggested that the government “take control of empty hotels and transform them into quarantines for people that test positive” instead of threatening to completely shut down the country.

And while the Minister of Health warns of a total shutdown, the Minister of Interior and Municipalities is announcing the stages of reopening the country.

The confusion and public behavior/response are conspicuous proof that the government may not be able to hold on to the reins of the coronavirus-fighting vessel for long.

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.

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