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Saturated hospitals, poverty … Lebanon overwhelmed by the Covid-19 crisis

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While Lebanon decided Thursday to extend strict confinement for two weeks, the country’s hospitals are struggling to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic. In intensive care, the occupancy rate is now 91% across the country. In addition to the health crisis, there is the economic crisis marked by massive layoffs. To help the country of the Cedar, the World Bank has announced that it will finance the distribution of vaccines by February.

Hospitals on the verge of rupture, economic crisis: the situation is critical in Lebanon despite strict confinement extended for two weeks in an attempt to stop an exponential increase in cases of the new coronavirus.

The confinement is accompanied by a 24-hour curfew and a closure of businesses, which will only be allowed to make home deliveries. Exceptions are provided for medical staff or journalists, and exit certificates for certain trips.

Authorities are working to increase the number of beds available for patients with Covid-19, at a time when the hospital sector is under pressure.

In intensive care, the occupancy rate is now 91% across the country and 97.89% in Beirut, according to figures released Wednesday by the office of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Lebanon.

“According to WHO criteria, Lebanon is currently at level 4: an uncontrolled epidemic, with limited additional capacity for the health system,” said Firass Abiad on Twitter, director of the main public hospital mobilized in the fight against coronavirus.

Vaccines financed by the World Bank

The World Bank announced Thursday that it would finance the distribution of vaccines in Lebanon by February, the first operation of its kind by the international institution.

The $ 34 million funding will provide vaccines to more than 2 million people.

The vaccine will be deployed as a priority among high-risk health workers, the population over 65, epidemiological and surveillance staff and the population aged 55 to 64 suffering from comorbidities.

The country is embroiled in its most serious economic crisis in decades, with historic depreciation of its currency, hyperinflation and massive layoffs. Half of the population now lives in poverty.

With AFP

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