Syria will donate 75 tonnes of oxygen to Lebanon, Lebanese caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hassan announced on Wednesday.
Caretaker Minister Hassan visited Damascus on Wednesday to meet his Syrian counterpart, Hassan Ghabash, after which he announced that Lebanon would receive 75 tonnes of oxygen from Syria over the course of 3 days, starting with 25 tonnes to be provided on Wednesday.
The Lebanese official said the donation “will not affect the oxygen system in Syria,” thanking Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad for the gesture, and stating that the oxygen “will contribute to saving Lebanon from disaster and saving the lives of many Lebanese.”
Hassan revealed that Lebanon had 1,000 patients on mechanical ventilation and that the present amount of oxygen in Lebanese hospitals was only enough for the remainder of the day.
“After Lebanon’s hospitals became empty of oxygen, the Syrian Health Ministry was contacted to supply Lebanon, and the response was as quick as possible,” he said.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has strained Lebanon’s hospitals and intensive care units since mid-2020, raising repeated red flags regarding the shortage of oxygen supply.
The warning was reiterated earlier this month, when Dr. Firass Abiad, the head of Rafik Hariri University Hospital, cautioned that hospitals across the country were facing dangerously low levels of oxygen.
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