Coronavirus surge in Lebanon compounds the misery in a battered country
The jump has been attributed in part to the mass panic that gripped Beirut in the aftermath of the blast, which wrecked three Beirut neighborhoods adjoining the port and inflicted damage and injuries for miles beyond. Tens of thousands of injured and traumatized people surged onto the streets without thought of wearing masks or social distancing.
For days after the explosion, dazed Beirutis abandoned all coronavirus precautions as they swarmed hospitals to seek treatment for their wounds or hunt for missing friends and relatives. Thousands descended on the stricken areas to help in the rescue and cleanup effort. A jump in coronavirus cases was widely predicted.
The estimated 300,000 made homeless took refuge with friends or relatives or moved into shelters, adding to the overcrowding. Three hospitals were destroyed, including one that had hosted a substantial number of Beirut’s coronavirus patients, further straining Lebanon’s capacity to care for an already rising number of cases.
But Lebanon may already have been heading for a coronavirus crisis even before the blast, health experts …continued .
[Source: Washington Post]