The director of the Rafic Hariri University Hospital, Dr. Firas Abyad, tweeted: “Not many things in Lebanon are currently going in the right direction, but the continuous decline in the corona numbers is undoubtedly welcome. Should we be cautiously optimistic, at least regarding Corona? ”
He said, “Unfortunately, that would be an early feeling for the reasons below. The majority of the population remains without immunity to the virus. Even post-infection immunity, which was assumed to have been acquired in the January wave, will wane over time. Of course, vaccines can provide the required protection, but the new corona strains may overpower the acquired immunity.
He added: “If we take into account the age group over 75 years old, many of them have not yet registered on the platform to receive the vaccine (estimates> one-third). Among those enrolled, 28% had not yet received the vaccine. As for the other groups, and on a daily basis, hundreds of people still do not come to their appointments, unfortunately. In addition, cases of the new Indian strain have been detected in neighboring countries. As summer approaches, the airport is registering higher levels of activity.”
He explained that without quarantine, or genetic sequencing, we will not be able to prevent, or even know, when the new strain will arrive. Even in countries with high vaccination rates like the United Kingdom, it appears that the new strain, which is more contagious and damaging, is starting to spread. Therefore, public health experts stress the importance of staying vigil, not to ease border restrictions, and commit to public adherence of safety measures. ”
He added, “But people in Lebanon are tired of Coronavirus. They are in dire need to resume economic activity in the midst of the financial crisis, and the decrease in the number of Lebanese corona infected encourages the restoration of their social life, without caution, and neglecting the facemask. The faltering economy also makes it difficult for the authorities to impose restrictions, and for people to accept it.”
He continued: “This faltering also means that hospitals will be less prepared in the event of a new Corona wave. Moreover, many health care workers traveled, further weakening the existing health system capacity. In short, the factors listed above together may be harmful if the new strain arrives. For now, it appears the only hindrance to this happening is Divine Providence. The good news is that more vaccines will arrive to Lebanon soon. Let us hope it will not be too late at that time.