Lebanon: first case of new coronavirus in a palestinian refugee camp

Liban: premier cas de nouveau coronavirus dans un camp de réfugiés palestiniens

BEIRUT | first case of novel coronavirus was recorded in a palestinian refugee camp in eastern Lebanon, said the UN, according to which tests are to be carried out among the local population.

The patient was transferred to the public hospital Rafik Hariri in the capital, said late on Tuesday evening, the UN agency for palestinian refugees (Unrwa), which has not provided guidance on its age or state of health.

According to the same source, it is a palestinian refugee settled in Lebanon after leaving neighbouring Syria, ravaged for nearly a decade by a deadly conflict.

She lives in the camp, Wawel — more commonly referred to in Arabic “camp Galilee” —, near the town of Baalbek, in the Bekaa valley.

A team of medical experts went Wednesday in the camp “to conduct tests of screening of the COVID-19, said the Unrwa in a press release.

The family of the patient and the people that attended will be subject to a screening, said the official news agency lebanon NNA.

Tests will also be conducted on a sample of more than 50 people, selected randomly “in the camp and its surroundings”, according to the same source.

As of Tuesday evening, the camp has been cordoned off by the palestinian factions responsible for their safety who have “illegal” inputs and outputs”, in coordination with the forces of law and order in lebanon, according to ANI.

Vehicles were circulating in the camp for a call by speaker population to remain confined, and to avoid all demonstrations, according to the same source.

The un agency will do the necessary to “help the family of the patient to isolate themselves in their home,” stresses Unrwa. The patient will be cared for at the expense of the Unrwa.

More than 2,000 people live in this camp, according to a census done at the end of 2O17 by the lebanese government in cooperation with the Palestinians. But according to Unrwa, the number of people registered with the agency is much higher.

Lebanon has officially identified 677 people with the new coronavirus, of which 21 deaths across the country.

At the beginning of April, Unrwa had reported that a palestinian refugee living in the camps had been reached of the disease of the COVID-19. He was isolated at his home.

The spread of the virus among the syrian refugees or palestinian living in Lebanon is a source of concern for the NGOS, who point to the high population density in the camps where the families are huddled together in confined spaces.

Lebanon, a small country of 4.5 million inhabitants, welcomes more than 174 000 palestinian refugees, according to a census official. A figure below the estimates ranging up to 500,000.

The country said also host to 1.5 million Syrians, of which nearly a million refugees registered with the UN.

Share Button