Lebanon extends state of emergency

UK EMT ICU training at Bouar Hospital, Lebanon.
UK EMT ICU training at Bouar Hospital, Lebanon.
ICU training at Bouar Hospital, Lebanon. Credit D. Ritzau-Reid 2020

As Lebanon records record numbers of daily COVID-19 cases, the authorities extend the country’s state of emergency until February 8th.

Lebanon extends state of emergency

UK-Med as part of the UK Emergency Medical Team (UK EMT) continues to provide vital support to the Lebanese people with their COVID-19 response as case numbers surge.

Since Christmas, Lebanon has seen record numbers of daily cases.  At times more than 5000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 a day.

Last week Lebanese authorities declared an 11-day state of emergency until January 25 th.  Today, this was extended  for a further two weeks until February 8th.

The full lock down includes an all-day all-night curfew with almost all businesses being shut.  Grocery stores and restaurants are closed but still able to deliver food.

The UK EMT in Lebanon

The UK-EMT has been supporting Lebanon with its COVID-19 response for the past five months.

We currently have an international team of 16 doctors, nurses and infection, prevention and control (IPC) specialists, as well as humanitarian logistics and operations staff working across Lebanon in six hospitals.  Two in Beirut, one in Sidon (Saida) in the south and one in Bouar.

Since December we have also started work in two new hospitals in Tripoli and Halba in the north of the country.

Our vital work

The team is training and coaching health care staff on the management of COVID-19 cases in intensive care, how to improve the flow of patients to prevent the spread of the virus in hospitals, and the correct use of PPE.

We also have two risk communications specialists who work alongside our clinical teams, helping to tackle rumours and mistrust by disseminating information about COVID-19 amongst frontline workers and local NGOs.

Funding extended to continue to offer support

The UKEMT team have been in Lebanon since the devastating explosion at Beirut port on August 4th. What started as a three-month COVID-19 response in mid-August 2020 has been extended thanks to #UKaid via the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office until the end of February 2021.

We’re happy to be able to stay in Lebanon to continue our important work helping to fight the virus across even more regions of the country.

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