Abiad: Lebanon Coronavirus Level Moved to 4


Firas Abiad, director general of the state-run Rafik Hariri University Hospital, which is leading the coronavirus fight, said on Thursday that “Lebanon’s coronavirus alert level is moving to 4,” meaning transmission is rising rapidly.

“The recommendation by the Corona committee yesterday to extend the lockdown for another two weeks was based on: the intensity of the community transmission of the virus, and the current capacity of the healthcare system,” said Abiad on Twitter.

“One of the main indicators of the spread of the virus in the community is the test positivity rate, which is the % of daily PCR tests done that is reported positive. A rising %positivity indicates worse community spread,” said Abiad in his tweet, noting that graphs show the sharp increase over the past two weeks.

“In particular, ICU bed occupancy is a good indicator of the response capacity of the health system. Despite the recent increase in hospital beds,” he said, adding that data provided by the WHO and the Health Ministry in Lebanon, “clearly show hospitals working at almost full occupancy due to a sharp rise in demand.”

Abiad regretted that: “As per the World Health Organization criteria, Lebanon currently is at situational Level 4: An uncontrolled epidemic with limited additional health system capacity available, thus requiring extensive measures to avoid overwhelming health services and substantial excess morbidity and mortality.”

“Last week, Lebanon recorded the worst death toll since the start of the pandemic. Lifting or easing the lockdown at this time will surely lead to a collapse of the health system and result in more deaths. This is unacceptable and unconscionable. The spread has to be contained,” he emphasized.

“However, the negative effects the lockdown may have on the general welfare of society and individuals should not be ignored. A healthy dialogue with the different business sectors can help guide policy,” the Doctor stated.

“A longer lockdown also requires supporting vulnerable households and populations at risk. Despite our financial troubles, this will be necessary. The road ahead is demanding. We should remember though, that help, whether from kinsmen, friends, or vaccines, will surely come,” Abiad concluded.

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