Caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hassan, who has been implementing strict measures in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, supported by the authorities fining people by the tens of thousands for violations of these measures, was just seen acting in contrary to what he calls for.
In the video below, you can see the minister on a tour in Baalbek, which according to MTV news included the opening of a jewelry store and the cutting of a cake with no social distancing.
The celebration was also said to be on the occasion of the birthday of Hezbollah’s chief.
This comes after the government took the decision to put the country under a full two-week lockdown from November 14th and which doesn’t end until coming Monday, November 30th.
Restaurants, cafes, gyms, bars, and nightclubs have been ordered to close during the two-week lockdown. The government’s decision also includes a curfew, ordering citizens to stay at home from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m., with driving to be banned on Sundays.
An opening of a jewellery store by itself is a violation to the full closure imposed with the lockdown.
Yet, the Health Minister himself has asked for a nation-wide full closure, warning that the current data on coronavirus was alarming. He also insists on maintaining the strict measures that tremendously impact the already-crippled Lebanese economy.
The Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) just announced through their Twitter account that the total number of fines given to people who violated lockdown measures reached 34,680.
There has been no report of whether that jewelry store breaking the law and those present in the gathering are included in the declared high number of those fined.
It brings to wonder if Lebanese top officials or certain party partisans are exempt from the rule and from being fined, as seen earlier with an FPM minister celebrating his birthday, and an army officer who reportedly celebrated recently his birthday in a hotel in Beirut.
Lebanon’s coronavirus death toll neared 1,000 on Friday, as the country registered six new deaths and 1,782 new cases with Health Minister Hamad Hasan announcing that the full lockdown would end Monday.
“Despite no positive results, the country will be opened up Monday,” local media LBCI quoted Hasan as saying. “I was expecting a more positive result from the lockdown to build on,” he said.
However, expecting a positive outcome also translates to everyone, including the country’s political elite, to partake in the obligatory safety measures and make no exception with their partisans.
Until the Lebanese leaders start acting on what they preach and lead by example, on all fronts, Lebanon will continue to struggle and its amounting crises won’t be solved.
With a deadly pandemic, an overwhelmed health care sector, and families and businesses barely surviving under lockdown and an agonizing economy, the Lebanese people are having way more than enough to cope with.