Hôtel-Dieu is Now Ready to Receive Coronavirus Patients Amid New Ministerial Decisions

Mauro Cassese

Yesterday, Lebanon’s Council of Ministers met again with the strategy to fight the spread of the Coronavirus on the agenda. 

Subsequently, the Cabinet approved a law providing for the postponement of all legal, judicial, and contractual deadlines, such as procedural and prescription periods, until 30 June 2020, as reported by Minister of Information Manal Abdel Samad at the end of the meeting.

Minister Abdel Samad announced in her public address a new series of measures, including the creation of crisis units in municipalities and federations of municipalities, to meet the needs of citizens. 

She also noted that the Minister of Health should submit to the government ‘tomorrow’ a list of private and public hospitals equipped to treat infected people.

The government will reportedly cover the costs of treating people who do not have medical coverage. 

The Health Minister also urged insurance companies to cover the costs of their customers.

Earlier on Wednesday, Hôtel-Dieu had announced that it was ready to receive patients with Coronavirus. 

In a statement, the establishment explained that “a center for the Coronavirus located far from the entrance to the emergency room has been inaugurated to examine outpatients quickly and efficiently, without affecting the work of the emergency room.”

It noted that it had reserved several beds for potential patients infected with the Coronavirus. The hospital also clarified that it continues to receive all the other patients as part of its normal operations.

For his part, the President of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Harissa, Father Fadi Tabet, announced yesterday that Beithania center will be made available free of charge to people who required self-isolation and are unable to observe it at home.

Manal Abdel Samad also indicated that the Ministry of Health is preparing a list of hotlines for doctors, dentists and pharmacists to ensure their availability 24 hours a day in all regions of the country. 

She underlined that the Minister of the Economy was going to reinforce the surveillance of the prices in the trade during this period of crisis, in order to prevent any unjustified increase. 

People shop at a supermarket as Lebanese begin to stock up on provisions, in Beirut on March 11, 2020. (AP)

Finally, the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) stated that it had made available to citizens a telephone call line enabling them to report any violation of the Fund’s operating regime in hospitals in the country, in particular, if additional costs were requested from patients in institutions affiliated to the NSSF. 

This number is # 2424 or 71/724244, accessible only via WhatsApp.