NNA – Caretaker Public Health Minister, Hamad Hassan, announced Sunday that “the current epidemiological indicators point to progress in the direction of regaining control over the societal outbreak of the Corona pandemic.”
Speaking in an interview with “Al-Jadid TV” Channel, Hassan said: “The two criteria that assess the epidemiological status are the rates of weekly incidence and death. The first was at the beginning of January in the 18th rank, and in February it descended to the 10th rank and has now risen to the 46th,” adding that “this is a good thing, but it remains insufficient because 220 infections are recorded out of every hundred thousand citizens, while the number must drop to less than 150.”
“As for the mortality rate, it decreased significantly, whereby Lebanon is now at the 31st rank, after it was ranked 6th last February, while the occupancy rate of beds allocated to Corona patients is currently at 62 percent,” he stated.
Hassan expressed his satisfaction towards “the significant decline in the rate of infections and the positive examinations, as the latter decreased from 22 percent in February to 11 percent by the end of April,” noting that “the Ministry of Public Health has not stopped carrying out continuous field campaigns in the regions to monitor the infected and those who have come in contract with them.”
However, he warned against overcrowds in places of worship, as recently circulated via social media, since this could lead to a new and dangerous wave of infection.
Pointing to the ongoing vaccination process in various parts of the country, Hassan considered that if herd immunity is achieved by 50 percent in June and 60 percent in July, Lebanon will reach a safety zone that would allow many sectors to resume their activities.
He explained that “the Health Ministry will receive a large quantity of vaccines, including 900 thousand Pfizer vaccines during May and June 2021, which will allow it to cover all those registered on the platform and launch field campaigns for those who are not registered, starting from mid-June, because the vaccination rates in the governorates are very low compared to the Mount Lebanon Governorate, which ranks first in vaccination, followed by the capital, Beirut.”
“There is an imbalance in the community’s turnout via the platform in some areas, and we will go to people to offer them the vaccine and achieve the required immunization,” Hassan corroborated.
Responding to a question about the slow pace in the private sector’s importing of the “Sputnik” vaccine, the Caretaker Minister said: “With the passage of time and experience, citizens can be certain that the claims against the Ministry of Public Health with regards to facilitating the import of the vaccine by the private sector were out of place, for the Ministry has proven its credibility in providing all facilities for importation through the private sector.”
Hassan announced that “the Ministry of Health will receive tonight about 130,000 AstraZeneca vaccines, fulfilling all conditions,” affirming “the effectiveness of this vaccine,” adding that he will be choosing AstraZeneca when his turn comes.
Source: National News Agency-Lebanon