Health Minister Says No Coronavirus in Lebanon
Lebanon's new health minister Hamad Hasan on Friday made a surprise inspection visit to the state-run hospital in Hermel.
“We have made this visit to honor our promise that we would stand by our people and they will find us with them whenever they make any appeal,” Hasan said.
“I had received a phone call from MP (Ihab) Hamadeh about the possibility of the presence of the symptoms of the H1N1 flu… There is no need to panic over the possibility of the outbreak of this disease or another disease and certainly there is no coronavirus,” the minister added.
He also noted that there a laboratory at the state-run hospital in Beirut is equipped to “receive samples from the various Lebanese regions,” pointing out that “the antidote is present at the ministry and will be offered for free to any clinically diagnosed patients.”
“The Ministry’s epidemiological monitoring unit will conduct field surveillance,” he added.
A deadly coronavirus has infected hundreds in China and spread to other countries. At least 26 people have died in China and millions are on lockdown in the Chinese city of Wuhan in an effort to curb the virus’ spread.
Chinese officials have said the virus likely originated from wild animals at a seafood market in Wuhan but it has since spread to several countries around Asia and beyond.
The outbreak has prompted authorities in at least eight Chinese cities to impose travel restrictions and cancel public events to curb the spread.