Lebanese Politicians Call on the Govt for a State of Health Emergency

Al Bawaba

Several opposition leaders have stepped in to criticize the manner through which the government is handling the Coronavirus spread. 

Even though the ad-hoc Ministerial Committee in charge of the file took a series of decisions just recently, efforts continue to be surrounded by vagueness in combating the epidemic.

A few hours after the Ministerial Committee’s meeting, Deputy Chamel Roukoz criticized the decisions of the latter, pleading for the declaration of a state of a health emergency


“Why not declare a state of emergency for a few days in order to limit the spread of the Coronavirus? Schools, universities are already closed,” he said on Twitter. 

“The official decision should encourage people to take precautions. Saving people is a responsibility that does not tolerate procrastination. What are we waiting for?” he asked in his tweet.

As for the head of the Lebanese Forces, Samir Geagea, he did not hold back either. 

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“The government’s actions against the Coronavirus are still insufficient,” he said on his Twitter account.

“A state of health emergency must be declared, in particular, to provide public and private hospitals with everything they need in order to take the measures required to ensure the necessary equipment,” he added.

The leader of the Progressive Socialist Party, Walid Joumblatt, reiterated his call to avoid rallies in public circles whatever the pretext. 

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On Twitter, he encouraged people to “be content with salvation from a distance,” pleading for the precautionary directives against the new Coronavirus to be reminded daily in cities and villages via loudspeakers. 

He added: “No political quarrel is important. We are all responsible for fighting the Coronavirus. Only solidarity between the people and the state is important.”

Beirut Airport – Mohamed Azakir / Reuters

Before the meeting of the Ministerial Committee, which decided to stop flights from and to contaminated countries, Joumblatt had criticized the slowness taken by the ministerial team to take a decision in this direction. 

He stated: “It seems that the epidemic will spread and cross all borders. Only a state like China, with its immense capabilities and the discipline of its people, can contain it to some extent. How long will Beirut Airport continue to accommodate flights infected with death from east and west?”

Like Walid Joumblatt, the current leader of the Future Movement, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, called for the suspension of flights from the countries where the virus has spread.


Shortly before the Ministerial Committee meeting, Mr. Hariri wrote on his Twitter account:

“If economic and political issues are the subject of disagreements and differences of opinion, the fact remains that the danger of the Coronavirus requires that drastic measures are undertaken in order to protect the citizens and residents of Lebanon, against and against all political interests.”

He added in his public address to the members of the Diab cabinet: “Close the doors to the Coronavirus, whether it comes from a friend or brother country, near or far. And that the health of the Lebanese takes precedence over any other consideration.”


For his part, Marwan Hamadeh, MP for Chouf, has criticized the Syrian authorities who have not announced any case of Coronavirus to date. 

In a press release published Wednesday, Mr. Hamadeh sarcastically “congratulated” the Syrian Minister of Health, Nizar Yazigi, for his “honesty and transparency in matters of Coronavirus, at a time when Syria is the main source of disease for Lebanon, because of the open border posts.” 

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