Lebanon: Corona-Infected Health Minister’s Situation is Improving as He Carries Out Duties from Hospital Room

January 14, 2021

The Lebanese caretaker health minister Dr. Hamad Hasan’s health situation is improving after testing positive for the coronavirus, according to St. George hospital’s statement issued on Thursday.

It is worth noting that Dr. Hasan was admitted, on Tuesday, to the hospital to undergo the necessary medical treatment.

The statement added that Dr. Hasan is carrying out his ministerial duties from his hospital, knowing that  Health Ministry’s press office announced that the minister looked into transactions and signed the ministry’s mail.

Lebanon has witnessed a sharp increase in the number of coronavirus with a total of 237132 infections and 1781 related deaths.

To face this sharp increase in the coronavirus cases, the Lebanese authorities approved a total lockdown that has started on Thursday, January 14, and lasts for 11 days.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

بين ثقافة الصدق والشفافية وشطارة التضليل والرياء

 مريانا أمين

مَن من الناس ليس به عيوب!؟

لكن!

لماذا لا نستعرض شريط الذكريات في كلّ وزارات الصحة المتعاقبة!؟

لماذا لا نراجع كلّ المواقف البائتة!؟

لماذا لا نقارن بين وزير وجوده صمام أمان ووزير جاء عهده وانتهى ولم نحفظ اسمه بعد!؟

لماذا لا نرى التغيير الجذري الذي حصل في وزارة كانت منذ زمن طويل «مغارة علي بابا»!؟

إنه الجهد الذي بات في وطننا كالورد الذي يلدغ الزارع؛ فرغم عمل وزير الصحة د. حمد حسن الجبار الذي قام به أولاً كإنسان وبكلّ ما تعنيه كلمة إنسانية من معانٍ سامية؛ وبتقديمه للوطن كلّ دعم دون أن ينتظر مقابلاً، وبمساهمته في إنجاح الآخرين بمدّ يد العون للجميع دون تفرقة.

عدا عن كلّ ذلك وبالرغم من امتلاكه الخبرات والطاقة العلمية والصدق والشفافية، فلم يجدوا فيه فساداً ولا إهمالاً فعايروه مرة (بكنبته)، ومرة أخرى بحمله على الأكتاف في قريته، بل والأكثر من ذلك! يحمّلونه اليوم كلّ أعباء ما يسمّونه الفشل الحاصل من قبله؛ فالبعض لا يستحي لذلك يفعل ما يشاء.

إنه ما يسمّى بـ «نكران الجميل»، وكما يقول المثل اللاتيني «لا تنتج الأرض ما هو أسوأ من جاحد للشكر».

فماذا يريدون منه؛ أن يرشّ البحر بماء الورد كي يصبحوا ممتنّين له!؟

لماذا أصبحنا في وطننا نرى أننا بحاجة إلى الأخلاق الفاضلة أكثر من حاجتنا لكلّ شيء آخر!

على كلّ حال لن يهدأ ولا ينام حتى لو قالوا عنه كلّ قبيح لأنّ تاجه التواضع، ويقطع النظر عن ردّ فعل الآخر ولا يريد أن يدخل نفسه وأخلاقة وتربيته في سوق تجاري سيّئ؛ ولأنه كالشمس الساطعة على مدينة الشمس، يغطي نورها على الصادق والكاذب وعلى حافظ الجميل وناكره وعلى الوفيّ والخائن، ولأنه أيضاً كالمطر يُمطر خيراً وعطاءً دون النظر لهوية المستفيد من الماء.

فهو الذي قال في الامس القريب: «كلّ شيء بالحياة ثقافة… الصدق والشفافية ثقافة.. والتضليل والرياء للأسف عند البعض «شطارة»!

والصادقون حافظو الجميل يقولون للوزير حمد حسن كما يقول المثل: «صانع المعروف لا يقع وإن وقع لا ينكسر»…

على طريقة كورونا… الحكومة بوجه الغلاء

التعليق السياسي

في مداخلته في قصر بعبدا ضمن مشاركته في اللقاء الوطني الذي دعا إليه رئيس الجمهورية لمناقشة الخطة الاقتصادية المالية للحكومة، قال رئيس المجلس الأعلى للحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي أسعد حردان، إن الخطة التي تتضمّن الكثير من الإيجابيات تحتاج إلى النقاش بالتأكيد. وهذه مهمة اللقاء، لكن الخطة ولو بلغت مرحلة الكمال النظري، فإنها لن تحلّ المشكلة التي يتفق الجميع على توصيفها منذ حكومات ماضية وتشترك معهم الحكومة الحالية في بياناتها، بالتوصيف القائم على اعتبار فقدان الثقة بين المواطنين والدولة أخطر ما نواجهه سياسياً واقتصادياً، وحيث النجاح بالمعالجة شرط ضروري لنجاح أي خطة.

وشرح حردان كيف أن الحكومة قدمت نموذجاً يستحق التنويه والتقدير في مواجهة وباء كورونا، فلاقت تجاوباً شعبياً كان شرط النجاح في خطتها للمواجهة، لأن شعوباً أخرى استنكفت عن التجاوب مع نداءات حكوماتها عندما وجدت هذه الحكومات غير جدّية بما يكفي في المواجهة. ودعا إلى أن تخوض الحكومة مواجهة مماثلة بتعبئة عامة لمواردها ومقدراتها، وتتخذ القرارات والإجراءات اللازمة، في المعركة التي لا تقل خطورة بوجه وباء الغلاء، لأن الفوز هنا كما الفوز هناك، بحد ذاته هدف يحفظ الأمن الصحي والأمن الاجتماعي، لكن ما لا يقل أهمية أن النجاح يعيد بناء الثقة بين الدولة ومواطنيها.

في الاجتماع الذي عقدته الحكومة أمس، في السراي برئاسة رئيسها الدكتور حسان دياب سمعنا كلاماً مماثلاً، يطمئن لجهة النيات، والمجتمع اللبناني وهيئاته وأحزابه وشبابه مستعدّون لتعبئة عامة للتطوع للمشاركة في الخطة الحكومية التي يجب أن تبدأ من آلية مهنية شفافة للتسعير، وآلية موازية للمراقبة، وتحشد في الآليتين كل الطاقات والخبرات والمقدرات التي يمكن للدولة الزجّ بها، والتي يمكن للمجتمع أن يستنفرها، والنجاح بالتجربة سيكون مثالاً يُحتذى في مستقبل المشروع الاجتماعي للحكومة، حيث ضبط الاستيراد وتوجيه الباقي منه إلى الضروريات، ودعم الإنتاج المحلي ليعزز حصته من سوق الاستهلاك، والتحقق من مواصفات المستوردات، ومفاضلة للأسعار بما يتناسب مع دخول اللبنانيين. ويجب أن تبدأ الحكومة لتحقيق هاتين الغايتين بالإمساك بمصدر التمويل، من خلال آلية مشتركة مع مصرف لبنان لا أن يترك الأمر لكل طلب استيراد تجاري للمواد الاستهلاكية الأساسية. وهذا يعزز موقع الحكومة بوجه التجار، ويتيح لها معرفة الكلفة الحقيقية وتحديد هوامش الربح المسموح، ولأنها ستؤمن الدولار بسعر مخفض لهذا الاستيراد فلن يتجرأ أحد على المخالفة تحت طائلة شطبه من لائحة المستفيدين من هذا الدولار المخفض، وتبقى السلع التي لا تحوز هذه الميزة ضمن الضروريات متاحة بأسعار السوق الحرة، طالما هي كماليات لا تهم المستهلك المستهدف بالخطة.

أما آلية المراقبة والتدقيق فيكفي إنشاء منصة إلكترونية علنية تنشر وزارة الاقتصاد عليها صباح كل يوم لائحة الأسعار لمئة سلعة استهلاكية أساسية، وإلزام الاستهلاكيات بوضعها على شاشات قرب صناديق المحاسبة، وخط ساخن مثبت في الاستهلاكيات عند صندوقها لتقديم الشكاوى وتطبيق إلكتروني مجاني على الهواتف، واستنفار طاقات الشباب الجامعي للمشاركة بدعم مراقبي حماية المستهلك لتتمكن الحكومة بعد ثلاثة شهور من إعلان انتصارها في معركة الغلاء كما حدث في معركة الكورونا.

Regardless Of Pandemic, US Denies Lebanese Health Ministry Aid in COVID-19 Fight Citing ‘Hezbollah Role’

Regardless Of Pandemic, US Denies Lebanese Health Ministry Aid in COVID-19 Fight Citing ‘Hezbollah Role’

By Staff, Agencies

As always, the US neglects all humanitarian aspects, namely through the Coronavirus pandemic, to exercise more pressure against Lebanon.

According to US assistant secretary of Near Eastern affairs, David Schenker, the US has not provided aid to Lebanon’s Health Ministry for its fight against coronavirus, since it is “run by Hezbollah.”

“Certainly, Hezbollah is an enormous factor in this government, and it is a Hezbollah-backed government,” Schenker claimed in an interview with local TV channel LBCI on Thursday, explaining why his country has not provided aid to the current Lebanese government for coronavirus relief.

Schenker further claimed that the US has sustained commitment to Lebanon and its people over the years and the aid it provides “contrasts greatly with aid other countries provide Lebanon.”

Shamelessly, Schenker alleged that the US is working with other institutions in Lebanon, for the country’s fight against COVID-19 and its economic crisis, and is providing humanitarian and food aid to suffering Lebanese people and refugees.

As Lebanon deals with its worst financial crisis in decades, the Central Bank’s role in it has become center stage, with its governor of 27 years Riad Salameh’s policies widely criticized in the country.

Speaking about US sanctions and its impact on Lebanon’s economy and the current crisis, Schenker supposed that their sanctions “actually protect Lebanon’s financial sector,” claiming that they get rid of and attack Hezbollah’s ‘illicit’ finance.

Schenker suggested that the Hezbollah-targeted sanctions will be critical for Lebanon’s recovery from the crisis, as it will impact its capacity to work with international financial institutions.

He further brushed off accusations that his country’s sanctions had caused the financial sector’s collapse.

WHO Representative in Lebanon: Gov’t Measures Progressive, Physical Distancing Necessary Even after Lockdown

WHO Representative in Lebanon: Gov’t Measures Progressive, Physical Distancing Necessary Even after Lockdown
https://www.english.alahednews.com.lb/52731/269

By Yassmine Moustafa

Dr. Iman Shankiti, the World Health Organization [WHO] representative in Lebanon, elaborated to al-Ahed, in an exclusive interview, on the country’s current situation regarding the Coronavirus outbreak.

Up until the 23rd of April, Lebanon reported 688 cases and 22 deaths. To date, Lebanon remains in a Level-3 of COVID-19 transmission, experiencing case clusters in specified geographic locations.

“We cannot predict how the events will unfold, however we are working on public health emergency response plans for the different scenarios that Lebanon might face in order to mitigate the possible challenges,” Dr. Shankiti said, adding that the world body will continue its support to the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health [MOPH], “and in the case of an outbreak we will try our best to respond to the health system’s needs in order to cope with any increase in the number of patients.”

Commenting on the response of the Lebanese government and the health ministry, she stressed that the Lebanese Government is taking the necessary measures that will help in containing the spread of the disease.

“UN agencies are working around the clock to support the government on all fronts. Support from the international community is being solicited by UN agencies to enhance the health system’s capacity for a surge in number of cases. The MOPH, with support from WHO, has been taking the necessary measures to enhance the country’s preparedness and response capacity before the first case was detected, and even before WHO declared COVID-19 outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” she explained.

The WHO representative further noted that preparedness and response activities are ongoing as per WHO advice and guidance. Concerned stakeholders are collaborating to coordinate with the MOPH at all time and to respond to requests for advice or support when need arises.

“WHO is supporting the Ministry to ensure good response through numerous activities that include; awareness raising, risk communication, screening at points of entry, detection, testing at RHUH, case management in hospitals, and contact tracing.”

Regarding the lockdown, Dr. Shankiti described the measures taken by the Lebanese government as progressive, adding that one of the main achievements of these measures is the decrease in the number of COVID19 cases registered.

“For the time being we still have COVID-19 cases being detected and the lockdown remains pertinent. The decision to progressively relax the lockdown measures is a government decision and will depend on many factors related to epidemiological data that the MOPH will take into consideration.”

When lockdown measures are stopped, she advised that: “It is important to maintain the physical distancing recommendations. Until now we do not have a specific date in mind to recommend stopping lockdown, the timing will depend on how events will unfold in the coming weeks. WHO is closely monitoring the situation and supporting the MOPH with evidence-based recommendations.”

Back to school?

With respect to the reopening of educational institutions, Dr. Shankiti noted that the WHO regularly attends the inter-ministerial committee meetings that take place at the Prime Minister Office and provides technical advice to the different concerned ministries based on the available evidence.

The decision of reopening educational institutions is a decision to be taken the Lebanese Government based on their assessment of the situation and on the recommendations of the inter-ministerial committee, she stressed, noting that the “WHO advises that even when education institutions will re-open it is critical to abide by the physical distancing recommendations and practices by maintaining at least a meter and a half between a person and another.”

The second wave of COVID-19

Dr. Shankiti concluded that there is a global concern that a second wave might take place since some countries are experiencing another surge in cases after they thought that the virus wasn’t circulating in their population.

Due to the unknown nature of the virus, she said, we cannot be certain that this will happen for sure in Lebanon.

“Our monitoring of the situation, in addition to research currently being conducted by WHO, CDC, scientific, research, and academic institutions will allow us to know more about the virus and its pathogenesis in order to formulate a better idea about possible future scenarios.”

Your Memory Will Never Be Forgotten… Pandemic or No Pandemic

Your Memory Will Never Be Forgotten… Pandemic or No Pandemic

By Fatimah Haydar

South Lebanon – At times like this you get to know what people are really made of. Times like these reveal the people you can truly count on. But what are these times?

On February 21, 2020, Lebanon confirmed its first coronavirus case.

On March 6 Lebanon’s Minister of Health Hamad Hassan declared that “Lebanon is no longer in Coronavirus containment stage”. Later that month, on March 9, the Lebanese Parliament closed down. Everyone was instructed by the government to stay home and the army was asked to interfere by order from Lebanon’s president and prime minister.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, gave several speeches during that period. He urged the Lebanese to abide by the government’s instructions and put Hezbollah’s resources under the service of the state.

In his speech on March 21, His Eminence said that Hezbollah declared its readiness “to provide everything the Ministry of Health, the relevant ministries, or the state require from us.” He pointed out that “the number of our brothers and sisters who are working is close to 20000”.

Furthermore, in another speech Sayyed Nasrallah stressed the need for people’s commitment to the state’s general mobilization procedures which “should be accurate and continuous,” noting that the start of social work and social solidarity are very promising, and long-term plans must be built.

This being said, it is clear that amid the global coronavirus pandemic, social distancing is a must, so as to avoid the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, in Aita al-Shaab, a village in south Lebanon, a southern family is getting ready to commemorate the 1st martyrdom anniversary of its beloved, Martyr Khalil Ibrahim Kassem.

Martyr Khalil, who was born on September 2, 1981 and acquired a Master’s degree in Business, was a commander in the Islamic Resistance responsible for one of Hezbollah’s portfolios in Lebanon and Syria.

The father of three amazing little girls – Zeinab, Zahraa and Fatima – was martyred in Syria on April 18, 2019.

His wife, Mozayan, an English teacher, talks of the martyr as if he were still here. “I just pretend that he’s at work; and when I visit his grave, it means he’s home with us,” she said.

“Khalil was a caring father… when he’s home from work, he spends all his time with his daughters… cuddling them and giving them all the love,” Mozayan sighed.

Fatima who is now about a year old, was two-months-old when her father last saw her. Mozayan explains that “she got all her father’s love and attention when he was home”.

“I am a martyr’s wife, and I am honored!” she said with pride. “But with this comes great responsibility – responsibilities towards our family and towards society”.

Mozayan elaborates and says,

“It’s customary to publicly celebrate the martyrdom anniversary with prayers and Quran reading in the martyr’s memory… to show that he will never be forgotten… that his sacrifices towards his homeland are cherished”.

“But in light of this coronavirus pandemic, there will be no public commemoration… as we have always abided by Sayyed Nasrallah’s instructions, this will not be an exception no matter how dear the martyr is to us!” Khalil’s wife said.

“His memory and sacrifices will never be forgotten, pandemic or no pandemic… he will live in each and every one of us,” she added.

A modest gathering will be held at the martyr’s tomb and only attended by family members where verses from the Quran will be dedicated to him.

“We, as the martyr’s family, won’t risk endangering the lives of other people at the expense of public safety. We’d rather commemorate Khalil’s martyrdom silently, than break Sayyed Nasrallah’s words, who Khalil greatly respects,” Mozayan said.

Your Memory Will Never Be Forgotten… Pandemic or No Pandemic

Many remember martyr Khalil as a friendly man of few words. But among his friends at work, he was loved and known for his remarkable personality.

His friends remember how helpful, caring and lighthearted he was. They said he would solve the problems of his peers and personally serve them, disregarding his higher rank.

“Martyr Khalil was a perfectionist. He would be the first at work; he would complete all required tasks and provide work-related ideas”, his peers at work recalled.

“But most importantly, he had nerves of steel, he would initiate offensive operations against the enemy,” they added.

They also underscored martyr Khalil’s dedication to work. 

“Although he hadn’t recover from his first injury, he would show up at work and help us accomplish our tasks”.

To them, Martyr Khalil was a symbol of altruism – an embodiment of true Islam. They say that if he were with us today, he would not want to cause anybody any harm.

Martyr Khalil is just one among many who sacrificed their lives in the path of Imam Hussein (AS) – the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (PBH) – not by words, rather by blood, by resisting oppression, by a language that history will never forget.

Many will fall for the sake of this path – the righteous path. But they will never be forgotten. Their memories will live on in every liberated inch of the country, in every cry for freedom, and in every head held high in honor and dignity.

Just men of the Resistance fell on the battlefields, so too did brave doctors, nurses and paramedics amidst the fight against the coronavirus outbreak. Both put the welfare of others before their own – it’s the highest form of altruism.

As hours turn to days and days to months, we really don’t know where this epidemic will take humanity. But what we are sure of is that the memory of those who are gone will never be forgotten.

This is dedicated to the souls of Martyr Khalil Kassem and all the fallen doctors and nurses during this epidemic. You will always be remembered.

To the Islamic Resistance men and to those risking their lives to confront this pandemic, you have our utmost respect and salutation.

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