Unfortunately, the COVID-19 coronavirus does not only spread by means of close contact and respiratory droplets… It effectively spreads through irresponsible and careless actions as well.
This has been demonstrated in Lebanon numerous times since the government initiated its general mobilization plan earlier in March. One of the more recent examples of this is an incident that took place in a village in Akkar, North of Lebanon.
As the story goes, a citizen from Bebnine, who works as a driver for the waste management service Sukleen, returned home from work a few days ago.
When he arrived in Bebnine, he started experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19, so he rushed to a local clinic, after which he was transported to a hospital in Beirut to receive the needed examination.
While he was still in Beirut, a rumor reached his town that the man had tested negative for the coronavirus.
As the Lebanese culture goes, especially in Lebanese villages, many rushed to the patient’s house and gathered with the family to celebrate his supposed healthiness.
The celebrators even fired live rounds into the air in joy.
As it turned out, the man had actually tested positive for the virus and was quarantined in Beirut. This naturally caused panic in Bebnine.
All of those who crammed themselves in that house had exposed themselves to possible infection, considering the man had mingled with his family after contracting the coronavirus.
Needless to say, this also put the entire village at risk after the unsuspecting celebrators left the patient’s house, came in contact with other locals on their way to their homes, and then with their families once home.
After realizing the scale of the threat, many people demanded that Bebnine be isolated to contain the disaster and limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Consequently, local authorities went to work to isolate the village from its surrounding neighbors and stop the flow of people into and out of it.
الجيش يفرض طوق امني على منطقة ببنين-عكار بالكامل لعدم التجول فيها وللحد من انتشار كورونا
Bebnine’s Municipal Council, in the presence of the Governor of Akkar, laid out a plan to ensure the total quarantine of the village to keep the virus from spreading any further in Akkar.
The municipality accordingly prepared a list of all individuals who had been in contact with the COVID-19 patient and/or his family members to isolate them.
Moreover, a curfew was implemented as a preventive measure in the village, which has a population of over 40,000.
The patient’s family members were all examined and it was reported yesterday that they tested negative.
Stay at home!
Considering that Lebanon recorded more than 80 cases in the past 48 hours, and in light of the Health Ministry’s latest warning, it has become clear that Lebanon has slipped into a more dangerous phase of the COVID-19 epidemic.
Quoting the ministry, home quarantine has become “an individual and societal moral responsibility that is incumbent on every citizen.”
After exceeding 200 cases, we’ve reached a critical point that can turn ugly very quickly if not dealt with responsibly by the citizens of Lebanon themselves before its authorities.