Beirut’s famously bustling streets were empty on Thursday after a nationally imposed lockdown came into effect on Thursday morning.
The Lebanese government announced a full lockdown for three full weeks starting today, including a curfew at night between 18:00 p.m. and 05:00 a.m. The decision was made in an attempt to stem the rise in COVID-19 that have threatened to further overwhelm the hospitals.
While the streets of Beirut looked empty other than police forcing businesses that had remained open to close, doctors insist that hospitals, on the other hand, are becoming overrun.
“We have almost reached the full capacity stage. I mean, we are talking about full rooms in the hospital, full care rooms, and full emergency rooms. We have patients who need to be hospitalised but they cannot find available rooms or beds. There is an increasing number of patients in emergency rooms, patients with difficult conditions. The medical crews are exhausted,” said emergency room doctor at St. George Hospital Ali Noun.
“Our hospital accommodates eighty beds, forty in intensive care, and forty standard ones, all of them are full. We have patients in the emergency rooms whom we weren’t able to accommodate in available rooms yet. We no longer have a place for new patients. We treat patients in the emergency rooms and in front of the emergency doors and at the car park of the hospital,” Noun went on to explain.
There have been 204,699 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lebanon since the outbreak began, resulting in 1.566 virus-related deaths.