Is it Out of Control?: Hariri Hospital CEO Analysis Concerning COVID-19 Recent Situation
What the CEO of Rafic Hariri University Hospital Firass Abiad tweeted as observations and analysis, concerning latest surge of cases of COVID-19 in Lebanon, deserves attention from officials as well as common people.
Abiad, wrote what he observed during the last few days as the lockdown has eased throughout the country and with the clusters seen in certain places, even in one of the hospitals, as well as the potential of growth of these numbers with more repatriated citizens, and with the current situation entwined with the economic crisis and financial turmoil that affected preparedness in the medical field fearing that the situation could become “out of control”.
Abiad tweeted in 8 consecutive tweets: “Is our #Covid19 situation in Lebanon getting out of control? Several recent observations can help answer this question: The number of new positive local cases has increased. The last 7 days have witnessed almost tripling in the number of cases as compared to the previous 7 days (from 47 to 143 cases). This surge usually results in an increase in hospitalizations, though it is too early to tell”.
He added in another tweet discussing surge of numbers and preparedness: “Some argue that since our capacity can absorb this expected rise in hospitalized cases, we should not be alarmed. The transfer of 3 cases this week to RHUH from #Covid19 ready hospitals due to lack of certain services raises a few questions regarding our preparedness”.
Concerning news clusters he wrote: “New clusters were reported in Beirut, its suburbs, in a hospital, and in refugee camps. Densely populated locations allow more contacts per individual facilitating spread. Worryingly, several of these clusters remain without a clear index case. The surge in clusters with large number of contacts is stretching our resources to trace and test. The locations are also difficult to isolate. This may lead to delays in containment, which may further lead to spread. This vicious cycle, seen elsewhere, has to be avoided”.
Discussing in details and numbers, he tweeted:” Nearly 2% of repatriated passengers tested positive. This rate when applied to the expected 2000 daily travelers results in 40 new positive cases daily. The actual number may be less. The situation with C-19 in the US, Gulf, Africa, and recently Europe, does not support this optimism”.
With financial turmoil, and undisciplined citizens noticed lately, he wrote, “Meanwhile, the financial turmoil and civil unrest continue. When people are desperate or angry, they become undisciplined, risking their safety. Even stable societies are showing “virus fatigue”, and want their social life back. Balancing ‘normal’ and ‘safe’ is proving hard”.
Abiad wrote as a conclusion: “In summary, are we still in control? Currently yes, but just. This whack-a-mole is dragging, and our concentration and arms are tiring. All are putting the effort, but I feel that holding on will depend on what we do individually. As they say, salvation lies within”.