Caretaker Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, in the afternoon chaired at the Grand Serail, a meeting of the Inter-ministerial Committee for the Follow up of the COVID-19 Vaccination Plan, which was attended by Ministers Zeina Akar, Mohamed Fahmy, Imad Hoballah, Michel Najjar, Ramzi Musharrafieh, and Hamad Hassan, in addition to the Secretary General of the Supreme Defense Council, Major General Mahmoud Al-Asmar, as well as PM Advisors, Petra Khoury and Hussein Kaafarani.
At the outset, Premier Diab stated: « Since the announcement of the first coronavirus infection in Lebanon, the Ministry of Public Health and the Coronavirus Follow-up Committee have been following the instructions and directives of the World Health Organization. We have also taken proactive steps to contain the Covid-19 outbreak several times. The cooperation between the public and private health sectors, along with the tremendous efforts exerted by the medical and nursing staff, the Lebanese Red Cross, health authorities and the entire health sector, enabled us to bring the virus under control. It is no coincidence that the European Union has added Lebanon to the “white list” and that Lebanon became one of the safest countries in terms of outbreak control. At a time when the number of infections with the new “Delta” variant is increasing in a way that raises concerns and caution in many countries around the world, with several cases detected in Lebanon, it is necessary to be vigilant and prepared, and to take necessary measures to limit its spread. At the same time, we have to raise the awareness of citizens and residents on the dangers of the variant’s spread and to make sure they adhere to preventive and precautionary measures, and get vaccinated immediately. In this regard, the Ministry of Health has announced the continuation of the vaccine roll-out. In this context, the AstraZeneca vaccine shall be available without an appointment for those aged between 30 and 49 years, and the Pfizer vaccine will be administered to those over 50 years old at all vaccination centers.
We reiterate that in order to contain the outbreak, preserve the health gains we have achieved, and avoid losing more lives, we must continue to adhere to preventive measures, especially wearing a mask and getting vaccinated in order to protect ourselves and our families from the consequences of the infection and its transmission. In fact, the different sectors can no longer withstand additional pressures. Thus, implementing agencies in charge of limiting the spread of the coronavirus must make their utmost effort to monitor the application of procedures and the vaccination campaign, and to proactively act in order to manage the crisis by preparing plans and simulating all possible scenarios ».