Warnings of a “health disaster” and a “bread crisis” in Lebanon

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Beirut (Al Ittihad, Agencies)

The Syndicate of Hospitals in Lebanon has warned of a “health disaster” due to ongoing power cuts and the lack of diesel to run generators, at a time when the country is witnessing a new outbreak of the Corona virus, and the Union of Bakeries and Ovens in Lebanon warned of a “bread crisis” starting next week due to the loss of a diesel fuel;
Lebanon is embroiled in a protracted economic crisis, which the World Bank predicted last month to be one of the world’s three worst crises since 1850, a shortage of fuel needed to run power generating plants and diesel used to private generators exhaustion of dollar reserves at the Banque du Liban and the slowdown in Open credits for imports.
And the Syndicate of Private Hospital Owners announced in a statement yesterday: “The industry faces a major problem as hospitals cannot get diesel to run generators, given the power cuts for at least 20 hours a day.”
The union warned that “a number of hospitals are in danger of running out of this substance within hours, endangering patients’ lives,” and is calling on officials to work immediately to resolve this problem to prevent an unavoidable health disaster. prevent.
For at least three decades, Lebanon has faced an ever-growing problem in the power sector with decaying power plants, leaving the majority of people with two bills to pay, one to the state and the other to the owners of private generators, who are compensating for the lack of state supplies. .
In recent months, the Electricité du Liban’s ability to provide food has gradually declined, leading to an increase in rationing to more than 22 hours per day in some areas.
The private generators were no longer able to supply the fuel needed to cover the hours of power outages due to lack of fuel, which in turn forced them into rationing.
The health sector faces mounting burdens from the loss in recent months of hundreds of doctors and nurses who chose to emigrate to escape the economic collapse and its effects.
Pharmacies and drug importers have been warning for weeks that their stocks of hundreds of essential drugs are falling. And last week, authorities rationalized drug subsidies, as part of a policy they’ve been pursuing for months to phase out subsidies on key commodities.
The price of a pack of “Panadol Advance” headache reliever crossed £16 thousand yesterday, compared to £2500 earlier.
This comes as this month saw the signs of a new wave of the Corona virus outbreak, following a marked decline in infections and deaths.
Lebanon has recorded 552,328 cases of coronavirus, resulting in 7,888 deaths, since the pandemic began last year.
In addition, the Association of Bakeries and Ovens in Lebanon warned of a “bread crisis” starting next week, due to the loss of diesel fuel, as some bakeries will be forced to stop operating after their diesel reserves run out.
The union said in a press statement: “The oil directorate delivered a quantity of this substance on Monday that is not enough for more than a week, but no quantity was delivered during the Eid al-Adha holiday, while the oil directorate announced that this substance was knowing that diesel is available on the black market, at a price of 140 thousand pounds per plate. He asked: “What must be done, and how will bakers and bakers supply the people with bread? Do ovens carry black market prices? The bread is a red line and everyone knows that, so don’t hold the bakeries responsible for this.” He called for diesel to be secured for the bakeries before Monday, as the reserves in many bakeries and bakeries are running out and next week they will not be able to produce and will have to stop.
He added: “The Union has received calls from a number of bakery owners complaining about black market prices, so the Union is calling on all bakeries and bakeries not to buy diesel at the black market price, as this market is not encouraged in light of the force majeure circumstances the country is experiencing.”

Israeli army arrests two people who crossed the Lebanese border
Yesterday, the Israeli army announced the arrest of two people who had entered Israel from the Lebanese border after an hours-long pursuit.
“The IDF forces have arrested the two suspects, who infiltrated from Lebanon last night, after extensive chases,” Israel Defense Forces spokesman for Arab media Avichai Adraei said in a tweet. “The two suspects were arrested near the border fence and are being investigated on the spot,” Adraei added.
Israeli military investigations identified two people infiltrating into Israel from Lebanon, where troops were working to isolate the area, close some roads and instruct residents of two neighboring towns to stay in their homes. .
This incident came less than two days after a rocket attack from Lebanon on Israel.
The Israeli military said the Iron Dome air defense system intercepted one missile while the second landed in an open area within Israel.
Amid mounting tensions along Israel’s volatile northern border, the two men appeared to be immigrants from Lebanon and entered Israel hoping to find work, according to the Times of Israel.

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