A photograph showcasing multiple Lebanese Internal Security Forces enjoying shisha inside a restaurant, with no safety measures implemented, has been buzzing on social media.
According to LBCI news, after the picture started circulating online, the ISF members were interrogated “in order to take the needed disciplinary measures against them.”
The ISF Directorate General then issued a statement in which it said that, after investigations, it became conclusive that the image was taken on January 5th, right after New Year’s Eve, which was at the height of the skyrocketing coronavirus cases.
The statement added that the ISF members were having lunch in a restaurant to celebrate the promotion of one of them. However, as seen in the photo, that celebratory lunch turned into a social shisha gathering with no masks on and no social distancing.
The ISF statement issued that “the needed disciplinary measures were taken against the ISF members for not respecting the preventive measures, and a fine was given also to the restaurant for the same violation.”
The problem is that fines, while a must, always come too late. This war against the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t factor in fines and disciplinary measures, only the human exposure and its abstinence.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time authority figures failed to enact the required role-model and the public catches them red-handed.
The caretaker Health Minister himself was seen just a few days before the start of Lebanon’s 25-day lockdown, enjoying a large lunch next to multiple other Lebanese officials.
And earlier in a public celebration:
All while he himself has recently blamed people’s deaths by coronavirus to their “will” for exposing themselves.
Only recently Lebanon has entered its fourth COVID-19 lockdown since the pandemic began, as increasing numbers have propelled the Lebanese government to take the dreadful decision of a strict lockdown for 25 days.
Hospitals are voicing their outcry as they are unable to accommodate more patients. It is being characterized by doctors as the tipping point for the country’s healthcare system.
All the while Lebanon continues to sink deeper into one of the worst economic crisis ever recorded in its history.
On Saturday, 20 further deaths from coronavirus complications were recorded, as well as 5,414 new coronavirus cases.
Fines against violations of lockdown and preventive measures are ongoing, with over 1700 recorded in the first day only, and several fines even before, notably against partiers of new year’s eve.
The authorities are trying very hard to have the citizens comply with the rules meant to squash the spread of the pandemic. Yet, it can’t be said the same when it comes to some of them, as seen in several instances.
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.