President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, kept abreast of the work of doctors, paramedics and Lebanese Red Cross volunteers, and was briefed on their conditions and readiness to combat Corona, and listened to their requests and concerns. The President praised the work done by the medical institutions in Lebanon and the Red Cross volunteers, in order to defeat the epidemic and to ensure the safety and health of the Lebanese.
“Today you are the source of reassurance to the Lebanese. Your efforts are sacred because you give from your heart and risk your lives, and today there are only a few who put themselves at risk like you do” President Aoun said.
Through two video calls conducted through Skype at the Rafic Hariri University Hospital, and Red Cross operation rooms, The President expressed his appreciation and that of the Lebanese, for the work done by doctors, nurses and volunteers in the Health sector. “All of Lebanon looks up to you and needs you, you are the ones who are able to remove some anxiety from the chests of the Lebanese. There are dear people who we may lose because of this epidemic which struck the world, and thank God for your presence which allowed us not to lose large numbers of patients” President Aoun stressed.
Video Call with Rafic Hariri Hospital:
At 10:30 p.m., President Aoun had made a video call via the “Skype” to the Rafic Hariri University Hospital, where he spoke to the Director-General, Dr. Firas Al-Abyad, and the working doctors and volunteers there. During the call, President Aoun greeted everyone and wished them health and wellness, and said: “Dear beloved ones, today you carry the prayers of all the Lebanese because you are in the first line to defend, in the war that humanity is fighting. May God protect you, today you are the source of reassurance for the Lebanese. Your efforts are sacred because you give from your heart and risk your life, and today there are only a few who put themselves at risk like you do. We thank you, doctors and nurses, and all the staff in the department, for you deserve thanks and praise for what you are doing”.
“All of Lebanon is looking to you and needs you, because you are able to remove some anxiety from the chests of the Lebanese. There are dear people who we may lose because of this epidemic that struck the world, and thank God for your presence that allowed us not to lose large numbers of patients. I wish you success, and you have all our appreciation” President Aoun concluded.
Dr. Al-Abiad replied by thanking President Aoun for his initiative and moral gesture, and said: “The doctors answered the call of duty and did not hesitate from the first day to combat this epidemic. Your presence with us today shows all the doctors how much the state appreciates the work of the doctors who also thank the Lebanese people who showed their appreciation and support for the medical body”.
Then, the Head of the Nursing Department at the hospital, Dr. Wahida Ghalayini, spoke, and thanked, on behalf of the nurses at the Rafic Hariri University Hospital, the President of the Republic for his interest. Dr. Ghalayini affirmed the extent of enthusiasm and impulsivity that overwhelmed nurses from the first day to announce the epidemic’s arrival in Lebanon, without hesitation. “For years, we have been preparing for such a moment in the event of any epidemic since the Ebola epidemic that struck the world. We have established policies and procedures with continuous training for all nursing staff to deal with such events, in accordance with the instructions of the World Health Organization, and we were all prepared, and we hope that we have fulfilled our duty towards Lebanon and the Government Hospital” Ghalayini said.
Then, Dr. Pierre Abi Hanna, who thanked President Aoun for his contact, spoke and stressed the necessity of community unity to confront the epidemic. “We, as doctors and nurses, consider ourselves soldiers in the country to combat the epidemic, we will succeed in overcoming it, and we request your permanent support” Dr. Abi Hanna stated.
Afterwards, the head of the emergency department at the hospital, Hussein Qattaya, also thanked the President of the Republic, for the “Shipment of Moral Support” which was evident in his contact and follow-up on the conditions of doctors and hospital personnel. Qattaya stressed that it is not the first time that the emergency department dealt with similar cases, as the race was to fight the H1N1 in 2009, as the department was fully prepared to face the Ebola epidemic in 2014. “We did not hesitate for a moment to respond to the call of duty when we were called” Qattaya said.
A dialogue then took place between President Aoun and doctors, as he listened to their concerns, and difficulties, including those related to ensuring aging and supporting the health sector, so the President of the Republic confirmed that he is still working on following up the old age insurance law that he presented as an MP, back in 2006, and he is still hoping to pass it in a short time through the Parliament.
Dr. Qattaya expressed “The monthly suffering of the employees in the hospital, the solution of which is by annexing the hospital to the Ministry of Health”. The President of the Republic made every effort to help fulfill the demands of the hospital staff.
Afterwards, a doctor from the Lebanese University volunteers to help the hospital doctors,called for the support and assistance of the university, and she asked for strictness towards the citizens staying at home, because it is a fundamental decision to defeat Corona.
President Aoun replied that Lebanon made all possible contacts to secure material and logistical assistance for all sectors, including the Lebanese University, thanking the volunteer doctors who made their free of charge efforts.
Red Cross Operation Room:
President Aoun also made a Skype video call, to the operations room of the Lebanese Red Cross, and spoke to the Head of the Red Cross, Dr. Antoine Al-Zoghbi and the volunteers at the center, and said: “May God protect you, you are the comrades in the fight, we always meet with you on difficult days and we have lived together for a long time, difficult and dangerous periods. You meet permanently and for free, the requests of citizens who face difficulties and call you at any time and from anywhere, and this is why people love you, because they find you next to them when they call you. There is no doubt that you are facing danger. Despite all the arrangements that one makes in such conditions, we appreciate your courage and speed in meeting the need of any person suffering from distress, and you embody humanity with its full meanings, without differentiating between one person and another, and meet the needs of the person from the heart. Your organization has spread throughout the world because your heart is beating with love and free giving for all”.
“Words do not fulfill your right, and I congratulate you on the great solidarity with the people. On this occasion, I repeat your slogan: Stay at home for us, so that we can serve you. May God grant you success” the President added.
Dr. Zoghbi, then, thanked the President of the Republic for his gesture, “Which indicates the extent of mutual love for the human being in Lebanon. There are 12,000 volunteers in the Lebanese Red Cross, who have vowed to serve on all Lebanese lands. Our role, in this epidemic crisis, is essential through this operating room, in terms of transferring the injured and responding to the communications, in addition to awareness. We thank you, Mr. President, from our heart, from the heart of the Lebanese Red Cross”.
Secretary-General, George Kettane, thanked President Aoun for his interest, and announced that the positive cases of the epidemic surpassed 267, and today 16 unconfirmed cases have been transferred pending the results of the tests, in addition to 330 others who were previously transferred and are still waiting for the results of laboratory tests as well.
“These numbers exceeded five hundred cases on all Lebanese territories, and were transmitted by the Red Cross in addition to the tasks of responding to traffic accidents that have decreased, home accidents, work accidents, blood transfusion centers, mobile clinics, services and disaster management, responding to the relief call, and conducting awareness. We are ready and fully prepared, 24 hours a day, to cooperate and stand together to overcome this ordeal” Kettane said.
Source: National News Agency