More Lebanese hospitals to start treating COVID-19 patients

“Lebanon has a total of 12,555 beds, including 2,026 beds in Intensive Care Units (ICUs)," Health Minister Hamad Hassan said on Thursday.
by Christy-Belle Geha

15 March 2020 | 13:11

Source: by Annahar

  • by Christy-Belle Geha
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 15 March 2020 | 13:11

Image file shows nurses at the Rafik Hariri University Hospital (Nabil Ismail / Annahar)

BEIRUT: Eight additional public hospitals in Lebanon will be equipped in the upcoming two weeks to welcome or treat coronavirus patients, the Ministry of Public Health announced this week. 

“Lebanon has a total of 12,555 beds, including 2,026 beds in Intensive Care Units (ICUs),"  Health Minister Hamad Hassan said Thursday.

A number of private hospitals are also sealing off separate wards and equipping them with negative pressure rooms in anticipation of a spike in cases. 

American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC)

The American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) is currently equipping its Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon (CCCL) after moving its patients to a separate isolated building. The makeshift COVID-19 building will be ready to welcome patients next week, a communications and public relations representative at AUBMC told Annahar. 

Saint George Hospital University Medical Center (SGHUMC)

Saint George Hospital, meanwhile, is equipped with four negative pressure rooms that "are ready to welcome coronavirus cases," Eid Azar, M.D, a specialist in infectious diseases, told Annahar.

“We are ready to contain infected cases, but our readiness isn’t at 100% considering the speed of transmission of the evolving COVID-19 outbreak. The problem in Lebanon resides in the lack of organization,” he said. 

Hôtel-Dieu de France

Martine Orio, general director of the Hôtel-Dieu de France hospital, told Annahar that “two negative pressure rooms are available at its hospital to treat coronavirus patient."

“The hospital intends to add equipment progressively, knowing that all available respirators are in a good condition and can be used with patients when necessary, in addition to the supportive treatments that can be offered to patients in the special-isolation unit.”

Rizk Hospital (Lebanese American University Medical Center)

Rizk Hospital (Lebanese American University Medical Center) specified in an update email that the hospital “continues to be fully functional and mobilized. Its COVID-19 testing will begin imminently. A separate ward with negative pressure rooms has been completely sealed off from the rest of the hospital for that purpose.”

“The strictly-essential-services-only operation will begin on Saturday, March 14, and will continue until further notice with updates.”

Notre Dame des Secours Hospital

Suspected COVID-19 cases are directed towards a newly-equipped building tasked with testing and treating patients. The building is completely isolated from the hospital’s other buildings to avoid cross-contamination. 

Mount Lebanon Hospital

General Director of the Mount Lebanon Hospital Nazih Gharios, M.D, told Annahar that a new unit "will be ready within seven days to accommodate around 15 patients infected by the coronavirus."

Sacré-Coeur Hospital

Sacré-Coeur Hospital, among others, is taking preventive measures against the outbreak of COVID-19. It released a statement on Wednesday, announcing that access to the hospital is limited to staff and physicians, and all people entering the hospital are subject to temperature tests and a questionnaire. 

“We are currently preparing a unit to isolate patients in case they need to be transferred to another fully equipped hospital if they test positive. The unit we’re equipping is only reserved to transfer from, not to treat COVID-19 infected patients,” Christiane Aoun Boutros, head of the communications and public affairs, told Annahar. 

Accredited laboratories to carry out tests on suspected patients

The five accredited laboratories to carry out tests on suspected patients are those at Rafik Hariri University Hospital, the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC), the Saint George Hospital University Medical Center, the Rizk Hospital (Lebanese American University Medical Center), and the Hôtel-Dieu de France hospital.

Call +961-76-592699 if any of the symptoms of the COVID-19 (fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, shortness of breath) appear.

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