Lebanese woman gives birth after testing positive for virus

Lebanese woman gives birth after testing positive for virus
A doctor with the baby, born to a virusinfected mother at the Rafik Hariri University Hospital in Beirut. (Photo/Supplied)
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Updated 16 May 2020

Lebanese woman gives birth after testing positive for virus

Lebanese woman gives birth after testing positive for virus
  • Newborn girl quarantined as health teams race to contain outbreak

BEIRUT: A Lebanese army soldier who contracted the coronavirus transmitted the disease to his pregnant wife a few hours before she gave birth by caesarean section.

Residents of Ketermaya in Mount Lebanon voiced their alarm after it was revealed that Sarah Youssef Mansour, 30, had tested positive for the virus.

Mansour, who has two children with Ghadanfar Tafesh, visited her husband’s parents for an iftar gathering before going to hospital to give birth to her third child.

A precautionary test carried out at the hospital before the caesarean birth showed she was infected with the coronavirus.

Mansour was transferred to Rafik Hariri University Hospital in Beirut, while her husband and two children underwent testing for the virus.

Tafesh, a Lebanese army soldier, tested positive, but showed no symptoms of the infection. It is believed he contracted the virus from other infected soldiers or from a military hospital where he processed his wife’s documents.

After Mansour gave birth to a baby girl by caesarean delivery, the hospital’s specialist medical team took photographs with the mother and child while raising their hands with the “V for victory” signs.

The monitoring doctor said: “The newborn baby is in good condition and has been put in isolation until tests show that she is not carrying the virus.

Health authorities announced travel restrictions and increased testing in nearby areas.

Ketermaya Mayor Yahya Alaa Al-Din told Arab News that “a large number” of people who had been in contact with Mansour will be tested for the virus by next Monday. He said that 13 soldiers in the region had contracted the virus in recent weeks.

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A precautionary test carried out at the hospital before the caesarean birth showed she was infected with the coronavirus.

Lebanon’s health ministry on Friday recorded five new infections in its daily report, raising the total number of infections to 891.

However, there have been claims of dozens of new infections, mostly soldiers and their families, in the town of Chehime, about 8 km from Ketermaya.

Health ministry tests revealed more than 200 infections, with 43 families in Chehime put in home quarantine as a precautionary measure.

In the nearby town of Barja, two infections were recorded and 120 people placed in home quarantine.

MP Bilal Abdullah, who represents the Iqlim El-Kharroub region, told Arab News that although the area has a high population density, “people are still going about their daily lives as usual, socializing, and going to banks and shops.” “We call on people to be alert and abide by the precautionary measures,” he said.

Abdullah said that after the government announced the easing of coronavirus restrictions, “people think that the disease has receded and are neglecting precautionary measures.”

Ketermaya’s mayor said that many are dealing with the pandemic “as if it is a stigma, which makes them refrain from undergoing tests or admitting to having symptoms.” Lebanon's lockdown will continue until early Monday. After attending a meeting of the Supreme Health Council, Health Minister Hamad Hassan said: “If we want to reduce general mobilization procedures, we should consider mandatory wearing of face masks, which could offer up to 95 percent protection.”

He said that the ministry “is following up the case of the families and contacts of soldiers, which is why we closed the borders to the region.”

“We must all work to prevent the tragedy of other countries. That is why we should stick to the strictest precautionary and preventive measures while avoiding contact with other people,” Hassan added. Meanwhile, more Lebanese expatriates have returned from Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Accra, Kinshasa and London, landing in Rafic Hariri International Airport.


Egypt’s 14-fold population rise in 135 years a ‘national problem’: Govt. minister

Updated 03 December 2020

Egypt’s 14-fold population rise in 135 years a ‘national problem’: Govt. minister

Egypt’s 14-fold population rise in 135 years a ‘national problem’: Govt. minister
  • The rise had impacted on each individual’s share of education, health, and available resources, affecting overall demographics: minister

CAIRO: Egypt’s 14-fold population increase between 1882 and 2017 had created a “national problem” that required urgent attention, a government minister has said.

Deputy Minister of Health and Population Tarek Tawfik revealed that over the 135-year period the number of people living in the country had shot up from 6.7 million to 94.8 million.

The rise had impacted on each individual’s share of education, health, and available resources, affecting overall demographics, he added.

“(The population increase) is a national problem that needs to be solved through the collaboration of efforts between all the ministries, governmental, and non-governmental institutions, and the civil society,” Tawfik said.

He pointed out that the Egyptian National Population Council was currently drafting public policy documentation in collaboration with The American University in Cairo (AUC) aimed at resolving some of the country’s population-related issues.

Plans in the pipeline included awareness campaigns on family sizes, food and water security, and sustainability.

The council’s former rapporteur, Dr. Amr Hassan, said that a family planning project due to be launched early next year, would help to cut the birth rate in Egypt by 1 million.

Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, US Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Leslie Reed, AUC President Francis Joseph Ricciardone, and Tawfik recently launched the Strengthening Egypt’s Family Planning Program (SEFPP) youth competition, part of a $31 million initiative previously signed with the USAID to improve population health results.

Al-Mashat said that improving general healthcare, reproductive health, and family planning services were key to achieving economic empowerment for men and women.

She pointed out that the SEFPP youth competition was aimed at paving the way for the implementation of new and effective solutions to the issues and involved the Egyptian government, educational institutions and universities, youth, and civil society organizations represented by the USAID.

The program was designed to tackle the over-population problem through innovative techniques, developing youth ideas on family planning schemes, and raising awareness throughout the country.