When coronavirus (COVID-19) knocked on Lebanon’s door, the country was already drowning in an immense ocean of weighty crises.
It was only natural, then, to presume the worst for the battered country upon the announcement of the first infection case in February.
However, as this article forms, Lebanon has a reasonable total of 557 active COVID-19 cases, compared to hundreds of thousands in the greatest, richest, and most dominant superpowers of the world.
Observing this, one can’t help but wonder how such a tiny, crippled state like Lebanon can do so much better than other countries in effectively taking control over the outbreak.
As a Lebanese doctor in France recently pointed out, Lebanese authorities were remarkably quick to impose restrictions, such as forbidding public gatherings, closing educational facilities, shutting international borders and ports, and deploying its military forces to enforce lockdowns.
Interestingly, while Lebanon was going to work and enforcing the new measures, “they were holding municipal elections in France,” Dr. Elie Haddad told Elnashra.
Meanwhile, the government of the United Kingdom was considering “herd immunity” as a policy against the virus, and Italy being hit the hardest by COVID-19, quickly becoming the epicenter of the disease.
Spain was not far behind its neighbor, which it later surpassed in terms of case numbers. But why did this happen in Europe?
There’s certainly not a simple answer, but it can be generally said that the countries of the European Union, as well as the United States, were underprepared for the disaster.
A combination of ineffective policies and late, incompetent measures contributed to the insane infection and mortality rates of these countries.
All the while, Lebanon was doing a good job in containing the spread of the virus, and gradually introducing new preventive measures, while the case numbers remained relatively low.
In early March, Lebanon was already in an emergency-like state with schools, gyms, pubs, night-clubs, scout centers, and other public places completely out of service. By mid-March, the Lebanese government was under a nationwide lockdown.
Even after Lebanon approved a repatriation plan and began receiving returnees from all around the world in the height of the pandemic, the daily infection count in the country remained fairly stable.
In fact, the daily infections have been constantly declining in Lebanon for weeks, with the Ministry of Public Health recording just 4 new cases on Saturday, April 18th, after recording 5 on Thursday and another 5 on Friday.
Not only that but the number of total recoveries has been steadily rising. So far, the Health Ministry has recorded 94 full recoveries, 8 of which were in the past 24 hours, as of the time of writing.
Conversely, the number of fatalities has been frozen for days at 21 while, unfortunately, it increases significantly in the rest of the world.
Unexpected as it might have been assumed, the Lebanese people have held their own against the devastating threat thanks to their responsible attitude towards it, proving a high level of self-discipline and care for their surroundings and their nation overall.
The government’s performance has been praiseworthy since the beginning, and so has that of the citizens, whose sense of liability greatly assisted Lebanon’s fight against COVID-19.
Our fight is far from over, but it’s going well for us; let’s keep it this way.
We have a dedicated coronavirus section where you can find the latest news/updates about the pandemic in Lebanon, inform yourself with WHO-verified resources, and track the number of cases in Lebanon in real-time. Click here.