Lebanon’s Health Minister Hamad Hassan, who has been stressing the importance of taking safety measures during the nationwide pandemic, was reportedly seen having a generous lunch with the minister of Economy Raoul Nehme and a number of other Lebanese officials.
The photo, which is circulating social media, shows none of the 18 guests, including minister Hassan, abiding by the rules of social distancing. Most guests have no mask on while sitting in very close proximity to each other.
This pre-lockdown gathering of these officials coincides with the authorities pursuing the pre-lockdown parties of some venues to shut them down.
The government decided to impose a new and strict lockdown that is set to last from January 7th until February 1st, considering the uncontrollable speed at which the pandemic is raiding through the country.
Ironically, it is the same Health Minister who had urged New Year’s Eve revelers to wear masks and social distance as he vowed the country would win its fight against COVID-19.
“Stick to wearing masks and social distancing. Don’t do away with all the sacrifices made…,” Hassan was quoted saying by the state-run National News Agency.
“Don’t surrender! The shocking numbers of cases in recent days reflect the grave situation that the country faces,” he urged the public. “We will not admit defeat in the battle, we will win it by standing together.”
Obviously, Hassan took “standing together” literally, as he is seen partaking in a not-so-humble lunch comprised of 18 people sitting very close together, violating any type of safety measure that he himself advocates heavily for.
Meanwhile, social media platforms are full of messages from distressed families pleading for help in finding a hospital bed for relatives.
Hamad Hasan explicitly warned that legal action other than fines will be taken against those who violate the lockdown rules since fines are “not affecting the behavior of some people.”
He himself has recently said that COVID-19 deaths in Lebanon are by the will of the people because they don’t take the prevention measures seriously.
Not acting what he preaches, the health minister was spotted on different occasions breaching these rules he himself imposed.
As of the time of writing, Lebanon hit a new record of coronavirus cases, registering 4,166 new coronavirus cases, as well as 21 more deaths on the eve of a 25-day lockdown.
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