Beirut, Lebanon – With its economy at risk and political conflicts hampering recovery, Lebanon has no reason to celebrate in 2021.
At the end of the year, Lebanese tourists and tourists come to the country, offering the starving restaurants, pubs and nightclubs the most important cash injections.
But as hotels, restaurants and nightclubs prepare for New Year’s celebrations, doctors and health workers fear that more people will be exposed to COVID-19 because of Omicron’s differences.
Omicron, first mentioned in South Africa last month, has become popular in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and other parts of Europe.
Law cases throughout Lebanon are on the rise. On Thursday, Lebanon’s health ministry reported 4,537 cases, rising from 3,153 yesterday.
Less than 65 percent of Lebanese registered the vaccine while more than a third of them took both doses.
“It simply came to our notice then [Omicron] they work in a country that does not have a good vaccine like ours, “Health Minister Firass Abiad told Al Jazeera.
“We have to assume that the number of hospital admissions is rising rapidly and we need to plan accordingly.”
Abiad added that the bed has increased by 30 percent, especially in public hospitals.
Although some studies have suggested that the new reforms are relatively small compared to the previous ones, the United Nations has warned that they are still too early to be confirmed by the existing ones.
On Wednesday, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he feared Omicron and Delta’s spread of various species of coronavirus could pose a “threat.”severe stress”At hospitals.
The health sector in Lebanon has been plagued by economic hardship – rising oil prices, drug prices and the Lebanese pound lost more than 90 percent of its value in just two years.
Public hospitals relied heavily on international aid reimbursement to enable them to work.
A weak world, a fragile economy
Wednesday, Minister of Interior Bassam Mawlawi gave the order which can reduce the amount of dining and nightclubs and establish additional security measures.
But there are fears that Lebanese security forces will try to implement new measures – as they did last year – that have resulted in deaths and incarceration.
Overcrowded hospitals have been forced to treat patients in their cars and on subways, and even turn cots into temporary beds.
Due to high demand, there was a shortage of oxygen machines.
Lebanon’s health ministry has said it is a national committee of COVID-19 meeting with leaders of organizations, including the Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants, Cafes, Night Clubs and Bakeries.
But even though the deal was fulfilled, Abiad said it had never happened.
“They say the numbers are going down, that’s why we hear,” Abiad said.
Conflict with the government
In a televised address earlier this week, Tony Ramy, the group’s leader, said restaurants and nightclubs had played their part but the government had not.
“There is no culture of wearing a mask in Lebanon and we are seeing an increase,” said Ramy, denying that tourism has contributed to the increase in cases.
“Cases began to rise two weeks ago, so before we started our business.”
Abiad, however, has urged residents to be vigilant.
“There has never been a day when one medical person has not warned people to be careful – it can be scary at times,” he said, adding that “we are still seeing a common practice” which is not possible. and the health department.
“People are saying to close the world [lockdown] but it’s not just a thought, it’s a reality, ”he added.
Dr Jade Khalife, a medical and epidemiologist, told Al Jazeera that Lebanon should change its approach to COVID-19 which it called “irrational”.
“Countries like Lebanon that rely on reduction, rely heavily on vaccination and closure of the yo-yo,” Khalife said.
“We want a reduction in the way we track all cases, isolating them and putting people in touch with them instead of just looking at the number of cases.”
But Lebanon faces a dilemma – not only is the government lacking resources but also human resources to implement security measures, but it is also concerned about what the World Bank describes as one of the biggest economic crises in less than a century.
Khalife said the economic downturn would not improve over time.
“Countries that have tried to save wealth but neglect human health, eventually lose both. The countries that prioritized health, saved both.”