Abiad Warns: The Lockdown Should Not Fail
Dr. Firass Abiad, the Manager and CEO of state-run Rafik Hariri University Hospital, warned Thursday that an 11-day strict lockdown that has been imposed to curb a huge spike in Covid-19 cases “should not fail.”
“In the last 24 hours alone, four Covid positive patients presented in cardiac arrest to our emergency room,” Abiad tweeted.
He noted that “one of them was a 19 years old patient.”
“This is serious. The lockdown should not fail. The lockdown can not fail,” Abiad cautioned.
Lebanese authorities began enforcing an 11-day nationwide shutdown and round the clock curfew Thursday, hoping to limit the spread of coronavirus infections spinning out of control after the holiday period.
For the first time, residents were required to request a one-hour permit to be allowed to leave the house for "emergencies," including going to the bakery, pharmacist, doctor, hospital or airport.
Authorities came under pressure to take a tougher approach after the country's hospitals ran out of beds with daily infections reaching an all-time high of 5,440 cases last week in the country of nearly 6 million people.
The dramatic surge in infections began in late December. As most governments around the world tightened lockdowns, Lebanon relaxed health measures over the holidays, allowing restaurants and nightclubs to reopen with barely any restrictions in place. An estimated 80,000 expats flowed back into the country to celebrate Christmas and New Years with loved ones, many of them expats who skipped visiting in the summer due to the devastating Aug. 4 explosion at Beirut port.