Lebanon Reports First Case of Coronavirus, Two More Unconfirmed Cases in Quarantine
(Photo : REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir)
CHINA-HEALTH/LEBANON. Lebanon's Minister of Health, Hamad Hasan and Iman Shankiti, WHO representative in Lebanon, attend a news conference, after the country's first case of the novel coronavirus was confirmed, in Beirut

Lebanese authorities reported their first case of coronavirus in Lebanon, confirming that a 45-year old woman tested positive for infection. The woman arrived Thursday on a flight from the city of Qom in Iran. Along with her are two other suspected carriers without active symptoms yet. The three will be quarantined at the Rafik Hariri Government hospital, in Beirut.

In a presscon, Lebanese Health minister Hassan Hamad confirmed that all three will soon be quarantined to avoid any outbreak. Another World Health Organization official, Iman Shankit was present and concurred with the Lebanese Health minister, saying that this may signal the spread of COVID-19 into Lebanon.

Hamad Hassan told reporters that once the female patient seemed to have a positive coronavirus infection, she was isolated to protect other passengers. The plane came from Qom, where the first two Iranians died from the virus originated from. About 150 were on the plane, who are to be tested and quarantined. Lebanese officials asked the passengers to isolate themselves for 14-days.

It was a Mahan Air flight that arrived on Thursday 7:30 pm (1730 GMT) that carried the positive female passenger. But, no decision to stop flight from Tehran was issued, according to a source at the Beirut airport.

More incidences of coronavirus infections are seen, and keeping it in check is getting more difficult, said the World Health Organization as more cases are reported all over the world. The lack of cure and tests that can detect the virus immediately is making it hard for WHO and researchers studying the contagion.

Iran officials commented that the coronavirus outbreak in Iran has already killed four people and two are elderly. The center of the Iran ground zero is located are the Shi'ite city of Qom.

Also read: Coronavirus Transmission: COVID-19 May Spread Thru Feces?

News from the Iranian health ministry stated that the cause of the coronavirus outbreak are Chinese workers in Qom, who travelled to the mainland where the pandemic first came out.

As of this date, about 2,100 people died in China as the contagion spreads and causes lockdowns of cities. Previous assumptions were mistaken, and the virus which was given the latest name COVID-19 by WHO is more contagious. Authorities are afraid for their population as the newer virus becomes harder to cure.

Hassan stressed to the public that safety measures to prevent a full-blown outbreak, in consultation with WHO is getting done. A hotline for worried Lebanese is created to make it easier to report any suspected infections.

He also added that there is no need to panic, adding that the positive coronavirus carrier is currently okay. She will be closely monitored if there are changes in her stable condition. The crew and the passengers of Mahan Air flight are kept on the watch to guard if they are sick with the virus.

Authorities are checking on arrivals to Lebanon from the past 10 days for potential cases, he said. Many are hopint that this coronavirus infection in Lebanon will be the only one.

Related article: Coronavirus Effects: How it Harms Human Body Organs