Lebanese hospitals struggle with tide of COVID-19 patients

Lebanese hospitals struggle with tide of COVID-19 patients
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Doctors perform rounds in the intensive care unit of the Rafic Hariri University Hospital in Beirut on November 13, 2020. (AFP)
Lebanese hospitals struggle with tide of COVID-19 patients
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A nurse takes care of a COVID-19 patient in the Intensive care unit of the Rafic Hariri University Hospital in the Beirut on November 13, 2020. (AFP)
Lebanese hospitals struggle with tide of COVID-19 patients
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A COVID-19 patient speaks to a member of the medical team at intensive care unit of the Rafic Hariri University Hospital in Beirut on November 13, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 14 November 2020

Lebanese hospitals struggle with tide of COVID-19 patients

Lebanese hospitals struggle with tide of COVID-19 patients
  • One 91-year-old spent 10 days on a trolley in the COVID-19 section at a hospital in Beirut
  • There are more than 44,000 COVID-19 patients in Lebanon, 307 of whom are in critical condition

BEIRUT: As Lebanon entered into complete lockdown for two weeks from Saturday its hospitals are struggling to cope with the number of new COVID-19 patients, which is now around 2000 every day.
One 91-year-old, Zuhair Salem Al-Husseini, spent 10 days on a trolley in the section designated for COVID-19 patients at Makassed Islamic Charitable Society Hospital in Beirut because all the beds there were occupied, his daughter Heba told Arab News.
Al- Husseini spent two days in the emergency department, to complete his treatment at home because there were no isolation rooms. But his children took him back to the hospital as his condition deteriorated and he was treated with remdesivir.
He said that he did not know where he caught the infection because he rarely leaves home. “About 20 days ago, I felt I needed to vomit and I had a very high temperature. From that moment, my journey with fighting the coronavirus began.”
His daughter Heba said that after her father was discharged from hospital he did not receive any special treatment to follow at home.
Al-Husseini said: “I have never been to a doctor all my life, and I do not suffer from any disease. I am a smoker and I used to smoke two or three cigarettes with a cup of coffee before I caught the disease. When I learned about my infection, I was not afraid. I accepted it calmly and said I want to survive and encouraged myself.”
His 80-year-old wife did not contract the virus even though she accompanied the patient during his illness.
There are more than 44,000 COVID-19 patients in Lebanon, 307 of whom are in critical condition, according to Ministry of Health statistics. The total number of cases since last February has exceeded 100,000 cases.
The Minister of Health in the caretaker government, Hamad Hassan, promised that “the two-week-lockdown will witness an intensification of testing campaigns for early detection of those infected with the virus because this diagnosis leads to the immediate isolation of cases at home to relieve the pressure on hospitals.”
Dr. Firas Al-Abyad, director of the Hariri Governmental University Hospital, announced that “the hospital’s beds are full and the hospital can no longer receive any new cases.”
He said that “6 cases arrived on Saturday morning at the hospital emergency room, including 4 in critical condition, and they were kept in the emergency department because there were no vacant beds in the treatment department.”
Al-Abyad said that “the recording of 21 deaths on Friday raised the total number of corona deaths in the past five days to 73.” He anticipated that “Lebanon will record the highest weekly death rate resulting from Corona since the beginning of the pandemic.”


Iranian Guard holds anti-warship ballistic missile drill

Iranian Guard holds anti-warship ballistic missile drill
Updated 14 min 39 sec ago

Iranian Guard holds anti-warship ballistic missile drill

Iranian Guard holds anti-warship ballistic missile drill
  • Footage showed two missiles smash into a target that Iranian state television described as “hypothetical hostile enemy ships”
  • In recent weeks, Iran has increased its military drills as the country tries to pressure President-elect Joe Biden over the nuclear accord

TEHRAN, Iran: Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard conducted a drill Saturday launching anti-warship ballistic missiles at a simulated target in the Indian Ocean, state television reported, amid heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program and a US pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic.
Footage showed two missiles smash into a target that Iranian state television described as “hypothetical hostile enemy ships” at a distance of 1,800 kilometers (1,120 miles). The report did not specify the type of missiles used.
In the first phase of the drill Friday, the Guard’s aerospace division launched surface-to-surface ballistic missiles and drones against “hypothetical enemy bases.” Iranian state television described the drill as taking place in the country’s vast central desert, the latest in a series of snap exercises called amid the escalating tensions over its nuclear program. Footage also showed four unmanned, triangle-shaped drones flying in a tight formation, smashing into targets and exploding.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have increased amid a series of incidents stemming from President Donald Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers. Amid Trump’s final days as president, Tehran has recently seized a South Korean oil tanker and begun enriching uranium closer to weapons-grade levels, while the US has sent B-52 bombers, the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier and a nuclear submarine into the region.
In recent weeks, Iran has increased its military drills as the country tries to pressure President-elect Joe Biden over the nuclear accord, which he has said America could reenter.
Iran fired cruise missiles Thursday as part of a naval drill in the Gulf of Oman, state media reported, under surveillance of what appeared to be a US nuclear submarine. Iran’s navy did not identify the submarine at the time, but on Saturday, a news website affiliated with state television said the vessel was American. Helicopter footage of the exercise released Thursday by Iran’s navy showed what resembled an Ohio-class guided-missile submarine, the USS Georgia, which the US Navy last month said had been sent to the Arabian Gulf.
Iran has missile capability of up to 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles), far enough to reach archenemy Israel and US military bases in the region. Last January, after the US killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad, Tehran retaliated by firing a barrage of ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing US troops, resulting in brain concussion injuries to dozens of them.
Trump in 2018 unilaterally withdrew the US from Iran’s nuclear deal, in which Tehran had agreed to limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Trump cited Iran’s ballistic missile program among other issues in withdrawing from the accord.
When the US then increased sanctions, Iran gradually and publicly abandoned the deal’s limits on its nuclear development.