After caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hassan announced from Syria a dangerous shortage of oxygen at Lebanese hospitals, the head of the Syndicate of Hospitals in Lebanon, Suleiman Haroun, has revealed the reason behind this shortage.
“We do not comment on political statements,” Haroun stressed at the beginning of his interview with Al-Hadath on Thursday.
“We speak from the technical perspective; we are syndicate members. I want my answer to be purely technical and about the reality of oxygen on the ground.”
According to Haroun, on Tuesday night, the owner of a Lebanese factory that has a branch in Syria jointly owned by Lebanese and Syrians informed caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hassan that he had been informed by the Syrian authorities that it was no longer possible to transport oxygen from the factory in Syria to Lebanon.
This, Haroun quoted the Syrian authorities as saying, was because “they had a problem and were in need of oxygen.”
Answering a question on whether there was indeed an oxygen crisis in Lebanon, Haroun said: “If the prohibition of the passage of oxygen from the factory in Syria to Lebanon continued, we would certainly face a crisis.”
“However, over the course of years, and this is not something new, this joint factory in Syria has been sending Lebanon its need of oxygen on a daily basis.”
Therefore, he elaborated, “its stoppage, if permanent, will certainly be harmful. I hope that things will return to normal and that the joint factory in Syria will return to supply hospitals with oxygen.”