Lebanese Media Toured Coronavirus Departments at Rafic Hariri Hospital

Rafik Hariri University Hospital organized a tour for various media outlets of the departments that deal with COVID-19 patients, including the isolation unit, where additional rooms have been prepared in case the situation escalates further.

The number of people infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) has risen to a reported 15 in Lebanon, as of the time of writing. 

As reported by Arab News, most of those infected are either passengers from an Iranian plane that flew from Qom to Beirut a little over a week ago, or from the passengers’ relatives.

The three cases recorded two days ago are all from the same family of a Syrian patient whose son was on board the Iranian plane from Qom and transmitted the virus to family members.

The family was reportedly placed in quarantine while they awaited the results of the tests that confirmed their infection, prior to being transferred to Rafik Hariri University Hospital in Beirut.

The Ministry of Health said in an official statement that the three members of the family infected “had mixed with one of the previously diagnosed cases. As soon as symptoms appeared, a laboratory examination was performed.”

While schools and universities are still closed across Lebanon with minor exceptions, decisions regarding the closures of other institutions have been issued according to circulars by several municipalities.

Weekly markets such as the popular “Sunday Market” have been closed across the country, and crowded events have either been postponed or canceled entirely.

Following this escalation of events, the Rafik Hariri University Hospital organized a tour for the media in the departments dealing with COVID-19 patients, including the isolation unit, where more rooms have been assembled in preparation for potential new cases. 

In a statement to the press, the head of the hospital’s Infection Control Department, Dr. Ghada Shuaib, said: “Staff has been trained in how to deal with quarantined patients.”

As per the media tour, four wards have been allocated in the hospital, and each wing accommodates 16 patients in addition to having 8 intensive care rooms and the final isolation department, which accommodates 4 patients.

Lebanon total coronavirus cases March 26th

Head of the hospital’s Engineering and Maintenance Department, Mr. Jihad Shehimi told the press: “The new emergency department is a miniature hospital that has been prepared with a gift from the International Committee of the Red Cross, and was equipped within 24 hours of the spread of the coronavirus.” 

In his remarks, the Director of the hospital, Dr. Firas Al-Abyad, told the press “[…] there is one case whose condition is unstable because the patient, who is an old Iranian, suffers from severe diseases. The rest of the patients are stable.” 

Multiple schools and institutions are still closed in-line with the Ministry’s statements, although various institutions have opened their doors to operational and necessary staff.

The Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Notre Dame des Secours (ٍSayidat Al-Ma’ounat Hospital) in Byblos confirmed on Wednesday receiving an infected patient arriving from Egypt, and the necessary procedures were done to have the patient transferred to the RHUH.

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