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US News Explosion in Beirut: overcrowded hospitals in the distressed capital

19:45  05 august  2020
19:45  05 august  2020 Source:   observers.france24.com

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À gauche, des blessés soignés sur le parking d'un hôpital surchargé. À droite, chaos dans les couloirs de l'hôpital St Joseph, où les blessés sont traités par terre et des les couloirs. Photo et capture d'écran. © Supplied by France 24 On the left, injured people being treated in the parking lot of an overcrowded hospital. On the right, chaos in the corridors of St Joseph's Hospital, where the wounded are treated on the floor and in the corridors. Photo and screenshot.

Two explosions rocked the Lebanese capital on the evening of August 4, in a warehouse located in the port district. Throughout the night, impressive images of the explosion and then the destruction of buildings that were affected circulate on social media around the world. The double explosion left several thousand injured, which hospitals in the capital can no longer accommodate.

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“The city's hospitals are full of wounded!” said Georges Kétané, secretary general of the Red Cross, who spoke the next day in the newspaper of France 24 . The toll is very heavy: at least a hundred dead and more than 4,000 injured on the morning of August 5, according to the same organization.

Shattered ceiling, blood everywhere on the ground and caregivers assisting the wounded on the ground: these scenes, filmed Tuesday evening in several hospitals in Beirut, bear witness to the chaos that reigns over hospitals because of the double explosion that struck a very wide radius of the Lebanese capital.

Wounded floods the St Joseph hospital, where they are treated as they are, on the ground or in the corridors.

In a video filmed at St Joseph's Hospital in the Dora district, we see the bedside caregivers of wounded covered in blood in the corridors, on hospital beds and on the floor; we hear people calling in tears to their loved ones. In the Ashrafieh district, in the Al Roum hospital, hit by the blast of the explosion, the nurses step over the ceiling tiles, which gave in to the shock, and try to treat the injured between the shrapnel of glass and walls.

Caregivers from Al Roum Hospital search for patients among the debris on the 9th floor.

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Several videos relayed on Snapchat, Facebook or Twitter note the damage also suffered by hospitals, which despite this continue to receive wounded:

In front of the Hôtel Dieu hospital, located less than 3 km from the port, hundreds of people bloody people try to seek treatment or call their relatives to reassure them.

Lebanon, which as of August 3 has 5,065 cases of Covid-19, is experiencing a pandemic that is all the more difficult because is aggravated by the shortage of medical equipment , caused by the financial crisis in the country. On Tuesday evening, the hospitals of the capital found themselves facing a flow of wounded well above their capacity, in addition to the destructive damage suffered within the buildings.

This video filmed by a nurse at Al Roum hospital shows nurses and a doctor at the bedside of the wounded, in the middle of shards of glass and bloody ground:

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The secretary general of the Lebanese Red Cross, Georges Kétané, describes an immediate crisis situation:

We sent 75 ambulances to the most affected neighborhoods, with 50 other vehicles on standby, ”he told France 24 on the morning of August 5. “Hospitals have exceeded their capacity and no longer have room for victims. Several of the injured were transported out of Beirut, in the north and south. There are also missing persons whose families are still looking for them.

Faced with the emergency, a few crisis medical posts have opened in the streets to rescue seriously injured people, to make up for the lack of space in hospitals. On the Place des Martyrs and the Forum of Beirut, sorting and first aid tents operate with the Lebanese Red Cross. Other hospitals, such as Bahman Hospital in the east of the city, have started to rescue the influx of wounded in the parking lot of the medical complex.

Mass blood donations and hosting campaigns

Mohamad Chouk is the head of an NGO in Tripoli, the “ Guardians of the city ”, whose members traveled to the capital on Tuesday evening to help caregivers in the Hôtel Dieu hospital, which yesterday received more than 500 wounded, beyond its initial capacity :

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Mohamad Chouk donates his blood with members of the association "Guardians of the city". Photo Mohamad Chouk. We went to donate our blood last night because Beirut has too many injuries and therefore a lot of potential losses. We went to the Hotel Dieu hospital: it is clear that the doctors and nurses have a real need for medical equipment and more staff.

In a video filmed on the evening of August 4 at the Hôtel Dieu hospital in Beirut, Mohamad Chouk, head of an NGO based in Tripoli, appeals to the inhabitants of his town, 80 km north of the capital: “I ask everyone who can travel from Tripoli to come and donate blood here in Beirut. We must absolutely help in these circumstances. Our blood is your blood. ”

Responding to the call of the Red Cross and other local organizations, several residents of Beirut, Lebanese as well as Iraqi, Syrian and Palestinian residents, rushed to blood banks and hospitals to help rescue the victims of the explosion.

Blood donation in a hospital filmed by an Iraqi resident, who calls for the solidarity of his compatriots.

Hosting campaigns have also been organized to help people whose homes have been seriously destroyed by the explosive blast, such as those internet users on Snapchat who offer to host victims in their homes:

And the precious help of international organizations begin to reach the city on August 4.

United Nations aid trucks arrive on Charles Helou Avenue. Video posted on Snapchat on the morning of August 5.

In the aftermath of the explosion, the Red Cross is still cooperating with the army and NGOs specializing in humanitarian crisis management to find the survivors in the rubble of destroyed buildings.

Article written by Fatma Ben Hamad.

Lebanon. The Prime Minister will announce the resignation of the government .
© MCKAY / REUTERS A protester waves the Lebanese flag in Beirut, August 10, 2020. Lebanese Prime Minister Hassane Diab is due to speak this evening at 6.30 pm, six days after the explosions that ravaged the port of Beirut. Lebanese Prime Minister Hassane Diab must address the population this Monday, August 10 at 7:30 p.m. (6.30 p.m. French time) to announce the resignation of his government, weakened by the departure of several of its members after the explosion murderous port of Beirut.

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