Suspected Coronavirus Patient Returned to Hospital After Trying to Leave Lebanon


Like in all affected countries, concerns over the coronavirus outbreak have everyone in Lebanon on high alert.

That fear has recently led a Lebanese patient under examination in the hospital to irrational behavior, running away instead of staying put there where it’s the best for him (and everyone around him).

The patient, who was suspected of being infected, was being attended to at Rafik Hariri University Hospital (RHUH). The hospital conducted the test for COVID-19 and was awaiting results.

Photo: AFP

However, the man feared to be forced to stay in 14-day isolation. He escaped from the hospital overnight, packed a suitcase, and rushed to the airport.

Informed by the hospital, the Lebanese Red Cross circulated his name to General Security, which led to his apprehension by the airport security.

The Lebanese Red Cross transferred him back to Rafik Hariri University Hospital, awaiting his test results.

The director of the airport’s health office, Dr. Hasan Mallah, reassured via Annahar that the patient was a suspected case and not a patient, which eradicates the assumptions that he could have infected others on his way.

Beirut Airport. Photo: Aawsat

In fact, the patient had sought the RHUH emergency department at feeling symptoms similar to those of coronavirus.

Dr. Mallah assured that his fate “will be determined based on the result of the coronavirus test. If it comes out negative, he will be allowed to travel to the country he was heading to, Canada.”

“If it comes out positive he will have to stay in hospital pending his recovery, as is the case of the other patients,” Dr. Mallah added.


All in all, Lebanon now has 52 confirmed coronavirus cases and has recorded its first death on March 10th.  

The country has already closed educational institutions, museums, nightclubs, pubs, sports clubs and also the parliament, and enforced limited gatherings.

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