President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, received today at Baabda Palace, the Minister of Health in the caretaker government. The minister presented the latest developments in the health situation in light of the high number of infected by Coronavirus and the threat it poses to society, dealing with it and trying to limit its spread and its danger on the citizen.

Minister Hassan’s statement

During the visit, I informed of the President, who keeps up with the data of the Coronavirus, and we are in constant coordination with His Excellency. During the visit, His Excellency was briefed on the situation on of government hospitals, the central and decentralization plan to develop the public health sector, the readiness of government hospitals, and dealing with the governance of Lebanon for the possibility of establishing private hospitals to keep pace, which is a necessity.

Regarding the number of cases, what we have reached unfortunately exceeds the capacity of the Lebanese health system to absorb. The partial closure that took place about four weeks ago had to be successful and did not give the encouraging results. The general closure decision is bold and requires serious engagement from all parties, and we discussed with His Excellency the President the proposals that could be included in this context to prevent reaching a more catastrophic reality than what we currently have, and the seriousness by all security agencies in cooperation with municipal and civil authorities in order to succeed in partial closure, noting that we agreed with his Excellency that rural cities are not the cause of transmission of infection, but rather the major cities that transport it to the countryside. Therefore, in the next stage, we must conduct an assessment with the security authorities and relevant ministries to take the appropriate decision on fighting the pandemic . “

Question: Is it possible to reach the general closing?

Answer: The opinion of the scientific committee in the Ministry of Health agrees with the Coronavirus Ministerial Committee that recommended a general lockdown, but we know that this matter is very expensive, even if it secures the necessary need for a space of health safety that must be obtained during this period. What we want to say is that what is required is not to harm the prestige of the state and the security services. Therefore, the possibility of the success of the general closure must be examined before a decision is taken. We still have the opportunity, as commercial and economic bodies, and civil societies, to reconsider our procedures and our capabilities to abide by all decisions issued by the Coronavirus Ministerial Committee, and accordingly, the new procedure to be followed.

Question: Does this mean that the country will not be closed next week, as was reported?

Answer: We are in constant contact with His Excellency the President and the Prime Minister, and this issue is under discussion and has its legal implications. We hope that the field data will be different so that we can reduce the recommendation for a general lockdown, which will in the end be a necessary evil.

Question: How did the private hospitals respond to the call to raise readiness?

Answer: Unfortunately, we heard yesterday, despite all the previous agreements and the incentives that we offer, and with the completion of all transactions in the ministry, with thanks to the Study and Acceleration Authority and the Accounting Bureau – to secure the rights of hospitals or part of them, and the reconciliation contracts amounting to 450 billion that must start their transfers, and in spite of all this, the private hospitals did not respond to the level required to secure the number of beds with a certainty of the spread of this epidemic.

Question: There are measures taken against some hospitals?

Answer” Our goal is not to take this measure, and there is no rampage with hospitals, and our duty is to protect the public and private health sector, but private hospitals have the need to comply and respond because it is a national duty par excellence, and we must not stop at some details despite the rightful demands, there is a real threat to the citizen’s health and life, and we cannot stand idly by.– Presidency Press office

Source: National News Agency

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