How Lebanon Is Doing Better Than Other Countries At Flattening the Curve

How Lebanon Is Doing Better Than Other Countries in Flattening the Curve
Reuters / Susana Vera

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.

Lebanon new coronavirus deaths March 30th

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.

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من على الشرفات أنشد اللبنانيون في الذكرى ال 45 للحرب الأهلية كلُّنـا للوَطـَن للعـُلى للعَـلَم ملءُ عينِ الزّمَن سـيفُنا والقَـلَم سهلُنا والجَبَـل منبتٌ للرِجَـال قولُنا والعَمَـل في سَبيلِ الكَمَال كلُّنـا للوَطـَن للعـُلى للعَـلَم شيخُنـا والفتـى عنـد صـوتِ الوَطَن أُسدُ غابٍ متى سـاوَرَتنا الفِــتَن شــرقُنـا قلبُـهُ أبــداً لبـنان صانَه ربُّه لمدى الأزمان كلُّنـا للوَطـَن للعـُلى للعَـلَم كلُّنـا للوَطَن بحـرُهُ بــرُّهُ دُرَّةُ الشرقَين رِفـدُه بِــرُّهُ مالئُ القُطبَين إِسمُـهُ عِـزُّهُ منذُ كانَ الجُدود مَجــدُهُ أرزُهُ رَمزُهُ للخُلود كلُّنـا للوَطـَن للعـُلى للعَـلَم كلُّنـا للوَطَن بدعوة من جمعية فرح العطاء وفي حضور نقيب المحامين ملحم خلف أنشد اللبنانيون من على الشرفات النشيد الوطني اللبناني بمناسبة مرور 45 سنة على بدء الحرب الأهلية اللبنانية في 13 نيسان 1975. وجاد في بيان للجمعية رغم إننا نواجه تفشي وباء الكورونا . هذا الوباء لن يمنع فرح العطاء من الاحتفال بهذه الذكرى ولكن بطريقة مختلفة. فقد دعت الجمعية كافة اللبنانيين، من خلال حملة إلكترونية، إلى تلاوة النشيد الوطني اللبناني، يوم الاثنين الواقع فيه الثالث عشر من نيسان، عند تمام الساعة السابعة مساءً، على شرفاتهم، لإحياء ذكرى هذا اليوم الذي طوينا صفحته ولنهتف بأصوات موحّدة من أجل لبنان أفضل. سيتم نقل هذا الحدث عبر كافة محطات التلفزيون اللبنانية، مباشرةً من شرفات المباني في شارع ابراهيم منذر، في الأشرفية، حيث ستؤدّي الفنانة جاهدة وهبة عند الساعة السابعة مساءً النشيد الوطني اللبناني، بمشاركة أبناء المنطقة. ولهذه المناسبة، يؤكّد المتطوع في جمعية فرح العطاء، مارك طربيه على أهمية هذا الإحتفال، قائلًا: "إنّ الاحتفال هذه السنة مختلف، ومن الواضح اليوم أنّنا، وبعد 30 سنة على نهايتها، طوينا صفحة الحرب وها نحن نهتف اننا جاهزين أكثر من أي وقت مضى، للعيش معًا من أجل بناء مستقبل متناغم في لبنان حرّ، عادل و و متعدّد".. #corona #lebanon?? #beirut #sterlization #street #nabilismail #photography #spinneys #food# #covid_19? #downtown #beirutsouks #roadsclosed #nowandering #خليك_بالبيت #airport #haririairport #lockdown #lebanesecivilwar1975 #.

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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.

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