More than half of the 55 medical structures valued by the World Health Organization, including three of the main hospitals in the Lebanese capital, are “out of service”, the UN said on Wednesday.
Nine days after the disaster, the World Health Organization (WHO) sounds the alarm. Among the 55 medical structures evaluated by the UN organization in Beirut, more than half are out of order, including three of the capital’s main hospitals, Richard Brennan, WHO’s regional emergency director, said on Wednesday, August 12, during a press conference in Cairo.
“press release in Cairo.
Three of Beirut’s main hospitals are affected and three others are working only with reduced capacity, he said. “That means we’ve lost 500 beds.”
Mr Brennan called on the authorities and their partners to “restore the capacity of these facilities as soon as possible” in order to meet the country’s needs to be able to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic and other medical emergencies.
On August 4, a giant explosion, caused by a fire in a warehouse where a huge amount of ammonium nitrate was stored, destroyed entire districts of the Lebanese capital. It resulted in the deaths of at least 171 people and injured more than 6,500, in a country affected by a unique economic crisis.
Hospitals, already saturated, were overwhelmed by the influx of wounded and several suffered significant injuries. The nurse died while on duty or gave in to her injuries.
According to Iman Shankiti, WHO’s representative for Lebanon, intensive care units and spare parts are occupied by the seriously injured. The blast, combined with the pandemic, will have an “impact on hospital stay capacity in Lebanon”, particularly in the intensive care units, she said.
The pandemic is accelerating
On Tuesday, a daily registration of contamination with the new coronavirus was registered in Lebanon: 309 cases and seven deaths. A total of 7,121 cases, including 87 deaths, since February, according to the latest official report.
The Covid-19 pandemic was first brought under control, but cases began to re-emerge after the reopening of Beirut International Airport on July 1 and the gradual lifting of containment measures.
The government had decided on a two-stage temporary reconstruction at the end of July, but had suspended this measure after the explosion in the harbor.