Abiad: Easing Lockdown Measures too Soon Risks Losing any Benefit Achieved
Firas Abiad, director general of the state-run Rafik Hariri University Hospital, stressed on Monday that easing the lockdown measures in Lebanon risks losing any possible benefit achieved in reducing the number of coronavirus infections.
“Over the past week, the daily number of Covid patients in ICU increased by 163(21.7%). ICU bed capacity increased by 129(15.4%). During the same period, 404 Covid patients passed away, many of them were presumably admitted to ICU. ICU bed occupancy is currently 94.4%,” said Abiad on Twitter.
“Over the past week, 122,520 tests were done for local patients. The average test positivity rate was 22.3%. After 10 days of a strict lockdown with good compliance, there is scant evidence that the spread is decreasing. However, lockdowns take time. It is too early to say,” he added.
Abiad said any delay in access to care when virus symptoms show could be the reason for a rise in cases.
“In short, more demand for hospitalizations, particularly in ICU, is expected this week. Delays in access to care is probably the cause for the observed rise in Covid case fatality rate in 10 days (0.75% to 0.84%), despite the gallant efforts to treat some patients at home,” he stated.
On quarantine measures for travelers, he noted that “the UK, despite battling with a more contagious Covid variant, and record hospitalizations, will discuss today whether to request from travelers, in addition to a negative PCR, to quarantine in a hotel. Lebanon, on the other hand, decided to stop that requirement.”
He concluded: “There is an observed public weariness from the lockdown. The business sectors are voicing their concerns as well. This is understandable. However, easing the measures too soon risks losing any benefit that was achieved. As they say, people in a hurry never get there.”