Hospitals are “less prepared” than they were in the previous wave
The Lebanese are afraid of an imminent health disaster due to the rapid increase in cases of “Corona” and the high percentage of infected people who need hospitalization, at a time when the health sector is suffering from an unprecedented crisis represented by the loss of medicines and medical supplies, and the severe shortage of nursing staff, as well as harsh rationing. Electricity of Lebanon and the scarcity of diesel fuel for generators.
The head of the Parliamentary Health Committee, MP Assem Al-Araji, indicated that the injuries to “Corona” rose on Friday by two hundred compared to Wednesday, and that 17 patients were hospitalized, 5 of whom needed artificial respiration, explaining that these numbers are a very worrying indicator in light of the presence of The health sector is collapsing.
Araji called for adherence to preventive measures, tracking arrivals and taking the vaccine, “so that we do not face a large outbreak scenario.”
In the same context, Firas Al-Abyad, director of Rafic Hariri University Hospital, which is the largest government hospital in the country that receives “Corona” patients, explained that all hospitals are currently less prepared than they were in the previous wave that swept the country at the beginning of the year, adding that the medical and nursing staff emigrated, And that the medicines that were available have run out, and that even the Rafic Hariri University Hospital is facing difficulties in bearing the burden.
The Nurses Syndicate had warned more than once of an unprecedented emigration in the nursing sector, as the number of nurses who left Lebanon after 2019 exceeded the 1,600 experienced nurses in search of job opportunities abroad, after their salaries lost more than 90% of their value due to The collapse of the Lebanese pound.
Lebanon has been suffering for two years from a severe crisis, which the World Bank has ranked among the worst global crises since the mid-nineteenth century, especially with the absence of potential solutions in light of the inability to form a government for more than 9 months.
Al-Abyad pointed to the electricity crisis and the scarcity of fuel that threatens hospitals, pointing out that the hospital gets two or three hours of electricity, and that generators provide the remaining period amid fears that they will not be able to continue working due to pressure and a shortage of diesel.
Al-Abyadh explained that hospitals suffer from the loss of antibiotics, and on other days, the loss of anesthetic drugs, and that they sometimes have to ask patients’ relatives to provide medicine from other hospitals or pharmacies, warning of a catastrophic scenario if the increase in the number of “Corona” patients leads to an increase Similar to what Lebanon witnessed at the beginning of the year.
The medicine crisis in Lebanon is heading for more complexity, according to what observers see, especially after companies have stopped importing medicines and distributing them to pharmacies, many of which have been on an open strike for days.
The Ministry of Health recently resorted to reducing the bill for subsidizing the import of medicine from the Banque du Liban, which announced that it was no longer able to secure the dollar for importing medicines at the official price, i.e. 1500 to the dollar, due to the decline in its foreign currency reserves, so the value of the subsidy for a number of medicines was reduced to 12,000. Pounds, while keeping the support the same for chronic and incurable diseases.
After this decision, the importers stopped importing subsidized drugs on the basis of the official price, demanding that the Banque du Liban pay credits for accrued and arranging dues in favor of drug-exporting companies that exceeded 600 million dollars, and they also stopped importing the drug for which the subsidy was reduced, considering that they cannot deliver it to pharmacies on The basis of the price of 12,000 dollars, as demanded by the Ministry of Health, because it would cost them huge losses.
During the months of January and February, Lebanon witnessed a severe outbreak of the Corona virus, as most hospitals exceeded their capacity, so they had to treat patients in corridors and parking lots.
For months, Lebanon witnessed stability in Corona injuries, but the numbers began to rise with the influx of expatriates to the country to spend the summer vacation. Yesterday, Lebanon recorded 744 new infections, raising the cumulative number of confirmed cases to 553,615.