| 4 February 2023, Saturday |

Araji say,” We are unable to confront Covid-19 again!”

The head of the Parliamentary Health Committee, MP Assem Araji, indicated in a radio interview that the number of infections have reached its limits reporting 900 cases per day, and the positive rate is about 5.5 percent. According to World Health Organization recommendations this rate should not exceed five percent.

Araji said that fall and winter seasons are incubating environment for the virus, and infections has began to rise because people are staying at homes, within closed places, and the “delta variant” that exists globally spreads rapidly in closed places. This raises the fear of a hike in number of infections, especially that the health sector is struggling due to shortages in medicines and in the number of nurses, in addition to closing the Covid-19 departments in several hospitals after the drop in number of infections. All this comes amid the high hospital bills that citizens cannot afford anymore, and makes us unable to contain the pandemic as we did before.

Regarding the preventive measures that citizens can resort to, Araji stressed the need to wear face masks, adhere to social distancing, and avoid closed places, after the great evasion that we witnessed in social events. The Ministry of Public Health is also required to increase the vaccination rate, said Araji, revealing that “our vaccination rate has become 35% in both doses. And it is good compared to many countries, but there are some areas where the vaccination rate does not exceed 7-8%, due to the denial among people to take the vaccine.

Araji added: “Those who are vaccinated can be infected and transmit the infection, but numbers indicate that the death rate of vaccinated people is much lower than the unvaccinated.”

Regarding the medical treatment Araji indicated that “the medicine is usually given to mitigate the infection not as protection, and nothing protects except the vaccine.

Araji explained that “the vaccine protects against infection even if the person is infected (Pfizer is 90% effective and AstraZeneca is 80%), and the infection rate remains about 5%. But if he is infected, the symptoms will be mild, and when we reach global immunity, “corona will be like flu.”

Regarding lifting subsidies on medicine, Araji pointed out that “the Central Bank gives the Ministry of Health $35 million to support chronic and incurable medicines, but this amount is not sufficient for the market’s need, and we have had to choose the most important and expensive drugs to subsidize it. M

Araji stressed that “the medical sector is going through a tough situation, and a large part of the Lebanese are no longer able to cover hospital bills, and the World Bank has promised to help hospitalization.”

  • Sawt Beirut International