| 1 October 2022, Saturday |

Lebanon’s COVID-19 death toll remains high

Lebanon’s Ministry of Health registered on Thursday 3,369 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 53 deaths in the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Public Health reported, as the number of infections and the death toll from the deadly coronavirus remain high.

“Given that thousands of new COVID-19 infections are registered in Lebanon on a daily basis, people will be mistaken if they disregarded the dozens of new coronavirus cases that arrive daily through the airport,” said Dr Firas Abiad, the Director of Rafik Hariri University Hospital (RHUH).

“In times of epidemics, border control is deemed essential in the national public health policy,” Dr Abiad said, as he flagged the need for incoming travelers to be quarantined as a basis for controlling borders in times of epidemics.

“Countries make quarantine rules mandatory in specific places or strictly oversee their implementation if the infected person was staying at home. Otherwise, many people will not abide by voluntary self-isolation. This was the case when several infected passengers arrived to Lebanon.”

Battling a spike in coronavirus infections which has overwhelmed its healthcare system, Lebanon has started its vaccination drive by inoculating frontline healthcare workers, 75-years-and-older citizens as per a plan adopted by the Lebanese government.

However, the World Bank threatened to suspend financing for Lebanon’s COVID-19 vaccination drive in its second week after it emerged that some lawmakers would get their shots in parliament on Tuesday.

The comments from the World Bank came as frustration grew among some residents and doctors that vaccinations were moving slowly and could be riddled with violations.