“Previously, we did not think that we would endure, but at the same time, the doctor has turned into a soldier on the border, and he has to defend.”
Ziad Al-Haj, a Lebanese doctor in France.
France is currently the 4th nation in the world in terms of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections with 165,027 confirmed cases and 17,920 fatalities since the pandemic infiltrated its borders.
Amid the chaos, and among the brave health workers fighting to repel the threat, there are 20,000 Lebanese doctors standing at the frontlines.
Dr. Elie Haddad, a Lebanese endocrinologist living in France, recently told Elnashra that “the entire medical body [of France] is recruited against COVID-19.” Furthermore, he said that all French hospitals are being used to treat cases of the disease.
He also mentioned his involvement in the process, explaining that he specifically treats diabetic COVID-19 patients, who are generally prone to infections caused by high levels of sugar.
Even Dr. Haddad’s daughter, who is a medical student, is currently working as a nurse in French hospitals, he said.
There are roughly 200,000 doctors in France. Of those, around 20,000 are Lebanese, according to another Lebanese doctor, Antoine Shadid.
Those twenty thousand physicians, Dr. Shadid told Elnashra, have had a significant impact on the general wellbeing of the French people.
Shadid reminds people that, today, there are Lebanese doctors all around the world, battling the virus. He recalled what French President Emmanuel Macron once told Lebanese President Michel Aoun about his upbringing.
Macron was quoted saying, “[I was] raised with a Lebanese pediatrician who cared for me since my childhood.”
In his turn, Dr. Ziad Al-Haj, a Lebanese emergency physician in France, praised the Lebanese Health Minister and the Lebanese government for their efforts, “which protected Lebanon from a pandemic that the planet had never seen before.”
To prove his point, Dr. Al-Haj went on to indicate how his home country has been doing, compared with France.
Taking into consideration the populations of both Lebanon and France, and the fact that the latter has recorded around 13,800 COVID-19-related deaths so far, he believes the number of patients in Lebanon would have been twenty times more than it is today.
Thankfully, that is not the case. The COVID-19 case numbers have been declining steadily over the past weeks in Lebanon, with the Ministry of Public Health recording only 5 new cases on Thursday, April 16th, and 5 on Friday the 17th.
The low numbers are a positive sign of proper policies by the government and good commitment to these policies by the citizens.
If Lebanon is to evade the disaster that France and other countries are enduring today, the people’s strong commitment to the government’s guidelines must continue.
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.