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The Consequences of the Coronavirus in Lebanon

posted on: Apr 8, 2020

Two protesters who wrote on their masks: “the politicians of this mandate are the corona.”

By: Yasmina Hage/ Arab America Contributing Writer

Lebanon is known for its citizens who like to live life to the fullest. Lebanese people like to have fun and enjoy everything. In fact, it is known that Lebanon is a country that never sleeps! Restaurants, for example, stay open all night, in addition to bars and nightclubs that are always crowded, even in the middle of the week. Lebanese people love to go out and enjoy life with others. However, with the arrival of the coronavirus, things have become more complicated for the Lebanese who love to socialize and have fun surrounded by family and friends.

What is the government doing to deal with the coronavirus?

At the beginning of this crisis, the Lebanese didn’t take this story seriously and continued to go out and regroup. So the police intervened to separate them. Army and police are patrolling the streets of major cities to prevent gatherings.

The spread of the Coronavirus in Lebanon has prompted the government to prevent the general mobilization in the country in order to strengthen measures taken to fight this pandemic. As a result, the Lebanese people must remain confined in their homes. Businesses have been forced to close their doors, except for pharmacies and shops selling food. All borders, ports, and airports in the country were ordered to close from March 18–29.  As the situation remained risky, the government decided to extend the confinement until April 13.

It should be noted that Lebanon is suffering from a shortage of medical supplies and could quickly see its hospital capacity overwhelmed if there is an increase in the number of cases.

Roads are empty in Lebanon because of the curfew.

How did people manage this?

Like many Arab countries, it has not been easy for the Lebanese to go from being very surrounded to almost surrounded. However, they had to do it for the good of all. It should be noted that in Lebanon, there are people who live from day to day and cannot afford to buy food because of the confinement. As a result, Lebanese in the poor neighborhoods are violating the curfew imposed by the state to fight against this pandemic. To help these people, there are associations, religious institutions, and donors that try to bring them something to hold on. However, this is unfortunately not enough, and it is a difficult situation for the disadvantaged.

In Tripoli, dozens of people from underprivileged neighborhoods have taken to the streets shouting: ” We want to eat, we’re hungry. Don’t confine us, feed us.” Some even say they would rather die of the coronavirus than starve. Faced with this problem, the government put in place a plan to help the poorest people. However, the implementation of this plan has been postponed.

Here’s a recent tweet about the protests against hunger:

Lebanon has been facing a tremendous socio-economic crisis that has been linked to the Lebanese revolution, which aims to change the government that the people consider corrupt. With the coronavirus having arrived in the midst of it, this socio-economic crisis has made things doubly complicated for everyone. In fact, during this revolution, the value of the dollar increased tremendously because it was scarce; the banks closed and forced the Lebanese people to withdraw a certain amount per week and no more. In the banks, there were endless queues.

What about the revolution?

As mentioned earlier, the coronavirus arrived during the Lebanese revolution. Now confined, people can no longer act to claim their rights and demand change. However, before the government announced the closure of stores and containment, people continued to protest. The Lebanese people had reached their limit, so the coronavirus couldn’t stop them. Once the containment was declared, the revolution had to stand down.

According to the Lebanese, the situation in the country is getting worse and worse: “corona is getting out of control we don’t have many resources to control it, the dollar keeps increasing, banks are closed, and people can’t have, access to their money at the moment.” Therefore, the Lebanese are sure that after the corona, the revolution will continue.

Almost all the countries being in confinement, the only way to keep in touch is through social networks. Therefore, in Lebanon, the revolution continues on social networks. Although currently, the main topic is the coronavirus, there are still people who post tweets, for example, so that the revolution does not die out.

Lebanese anti-government protesters wave the national flag during a demonstration in downtown Beirut.

How are refugees in Lebanon being helped during this crisis?

Approximately, eight municipalities in Lebanon have imposed curfews on refugees before the government enforces the mandatory curfew. As a result, the Lebanese are accused of discriminating against refugees because the restrictive measures should be the same for everyone.

Lebanon has put in place preventive measures to avoid the spread of the Virus in the refugee camps. These measures were put in place with the coordination of NGOs. They have started awareness campaigns and started to provide disinfection equipment. They have also launched a sterilization campaign to combat coronavirus in the refugee camps.






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