St. Georges Hospital in Hadath, Beirut, says that all of its beds are occupied, prompting it to convert Its cafeteria into an area for COVID-19 patients.
The Hospital issued a statement, stating: “After filling all of the beds at the hospital with the increasing number of COVID-19 patients, the administration decided to convert the cafeteria into an area to receive patients, which is now divided into 8 rooms suitable for receiving COVID-19 cases, and we continue our work to accommodate as many cases as possible.”
The hospital explained that its workers have made a video call to the public “as a final cry for help, calling on people to be careful and not underestimate the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Their call urges citizens to take the necessary precautions as much as possible, “as the medical staff suffers from exhaustion and fatigue.”
St. George Hospital is not the only medical institution under duress in Beirut.
On Thursday, Rizk Hospital announced that it will be putting up tents around the hospital in order to make space for admitting more critical COVID-19 cases that require supplemental oxygen.
The head of the cardiology department, Dr. George Ghanem, said in an interview, “All three floors including the ICU and regular hospital beds are completely full. All the emergency rooms are full of COVID patients as well.”
Ghanem then went on to specify that the hospital is setting up containters, tents, and stretchers outside the hospital.
“Sometimes the Red Cross is forced to leave patients on stretchers outside of the hospital because we are unable to admit them,” Dr. Ghanem said.
Lebanon officially started its first days of a complete lockdown as a last attempt to halt the spread. Police checkpoints are set up around the country to check motorists’ permits to be on the road.
The imposed curfew is the strictest since the start of the pandemic, after multiple previous lockdowns that included many exemptions had been loosely implemented.
On the eve of the lockdown, Lebanon registered 35 coronavirus deaths, a new one-day record, and 4,988 cases with the total number of cases rising to 231,936. The total number of deaths now stands at 1,740.
Vaccines are still weeks away from arriving. Lebanon hopes to receive its first shipment of coronavirus jabs in mid-February.