Hezbollah On High Alert As It Combats The Coronavirus: What Is The Plan?
By Fatima Deeb Hamzeh
Beirut - With every passing hour, the number of coronavirus cases grows. Deaths caused by COVID-19 globally are off the charts. Meanwhile, fear is on the rise.
Lebanon is not safe from this pandemic. It is at the heart of a global battle and does not have the necessary health and medical infrastructure to fight it.
If this virus spreads quickly and dramatically in the coming days, how will Lebanon confront it? What about Hezbollah and its health and medical capabilities? Has it set up a full combat plan for the difficult stage?
MP Ali Al-Mokdad tells our website: We are at the disposal of the state at the health and medical level
Hezbollah saw the rapid spread of this ‘ghost’ virus as noteworthy. The group focused its attention on it before the first case reached Lebanon. It knows that the pandemic is no ordinary event. This is especially true at the level of the state’s healthcare infrastructure, which is operating under exceptional economic and financial strain. Such conditions confuse the state and its institutions, ultimately leading to a dead end.
"Since day one of the spread of the coronavirus, we have expressed apprehension and fear over its nature and the speed of its transmission," member of the Lebanese Parliamentary Health Committee and the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc Dr. Ali Al-Mokdad told Al-Ahed.
He said that Hezbollah officials automatically made decisions and took actions to raise awareness and guide different sectors and regions on how to prevent and contain the spread of the virus. The move was spontaneous and precautionary and was not an official decision by the party.
But the spread of COVID-19 accelerated around the world, and eerily across countries and continents, such as Europe, which is experiencing a real nightmare. Hence, the Lebanese government declared a state of general mobilization and the closing of the airport as well as land and sea facilities. Obviously, officials here are bracing for the worst which is an explosion in the number of infections in case people don’t comply with the policy of self-isolation at home. Then, Lebanon will be powerless in the face of these numbers and the complexity of the situation. So, what about Hezbollah's health plan?
MP al-Mokdad doesn’t hesitate in offering a response.
“We are preparing and gathering our energies and capabilities to face this dangerous pandemic. But if it gets out of control and spreads horribly, Hezbollah puts its own hospitals, like Al-Rassoul Al-Aazam and Saint George Hospitals, in the service of the state and the ministry of health. Hezbollah will even place its medical and health centers in the service of this fight alongside the state."
A comprehensive battle plan: We are fighting a national battle
Today, combating the coronavirus pandemic appears to be at an important crossroads in Lebanon. The state, particularly the ministry of health, requires the people to comply with the policy of self-isolation to prevent a massive spread after the third week of the virus’s existence, which was the trend witnessed in other countries.
Therefore, the medical, health and procedural efforts of the health ministry staff are intensifying. However, anxiety about what is coming is draining the staff. This is what Hezbollah sensed as an imminent danger that could put Lebanon face to face with a very complex health and social battle.
“We follow one main rule in fighting this health crisis which is we are fighting a battle that extends across the homeland. So, we utilize our capabilities on this basis," said al-Mokdad.
According to the MP, the framework of Hezbollah’s health plan to combat the coronavirus is almost complete. The group today is in the process of completing preparations, including medical crews, centers, hospitals, and health staff.
"The plan includes all of Lebanon from north to south. It focuses on areas where the spread and threat of the virus is greatest.”
Dr. Al-Mokdad explains that “the Islamic Health Society put many of its recourses at the disposal of the ministry of health ever since the first coronavirus case was announced in Lebanon. It still stands with the ministry at every juncture as well as with other health organizations such as the Red Cross and the civil defense.”
“Hezbollah prepared many first-aid care centers as well as basic health facilities to combat the virus in all forms from self-isolation at home to recovery,” he adds.
MP al-Mokdad briefly reveals to us some of main points of the health plan that Hezbollah is working on:
- Preparing private hospitals as well as medical and care centers.
- Preparation of medical teams and staff in all areas.
- Following-up with cases coming from abroad: from arrival to examination, to quarantine, and to treatment phase.
- The decision to halt activities and gatherings in all forms, adhering to the policy of self-isolation at home and to reduce socializing
- Disinfecting operations at home and outside
MP al-Mokdad says that there are other medical, health, and preventive measures that are being tested. These measures will be added to the plan accordingly as the spread of the virus evolves at a later stage.
"We are not leaving out any means to protect our country and our citizens," al-Mokdad concludes. “We need national immunity before physical and health immunity to overcome the coronavirus.”