'Better than Switzerland': Why Lebanon's coronavirus response is working
While the number of coronavirus cases remains relatively low, the government since early March has taken drastic lockdown measures, ordering schools, universities, bars and restaurants closed, and imposing virtual curfews at public spaces in recent days.
The country's only international airport shut down on Wednesday, while borders are effectively shuttered for most travellers. This follows weeks of restricted air traffic to areas hit by large-scale virus outbreaks, including the UK.
According to data from the American University of Beirut, these measures are working in flattening the epidemic's curve.
"Still, social & health systems vigilance is much needed in this critical phase of the disease progression. Track the trend of new cases after index identification," the tweet added.
|Data from the American University of Beirut [AUB]|
At the time of writing, 120 people in the Mediterranean nation have been infected with COVID-19, while three have succumbed to the virus.
Medical efforts to assist patients, however, have come under threat as the healthcare sector grappled with the fallout from decades of corruption, while the Lebanese Red Cross (LRC) - which acts the country's national ambulance service - is fast running out of funds.
Read more: Beirut under quarantine: Why decades of unshackled neoliberalism left Lebanon in extreme danger from coronavirus
The not-for-profit LRC has supplemented Lebanon's government health system, with ambulance services and regular updates on the country's coronavirus situation. The group has reported that each coronavirus callout costs them as much as $850.
With resources now running low, the LRC has appealed for donations from the public to continue its work.
To date, the non-profit has readied 300 trained emergency medical technicians and 520 volunteers trained in COVID-19 awareness.