Lebanon health minister celebrated as coronavirus cases rise

The viral video of Lebanese Health Minister Hamad Hassan being celebrated by the public and civil society organisations has sparked controversy on social media.

Hassan can be seen being carried by crowds, ignoring social distancing measures, at an event held in the city of Baalbek in his honour and in appreciation of his efforts in combatting the coronavirus pandemic.

On the same day, 51 cases of COVID-19 were reported in Lebanon, the highest number of infections in weeks.

This comes as Lebanon’s hospitals are facing a cash crisis that could leave doctors without key medical supplies as a result of the country’s economic woes and the coronavirus lockdown.

Lebanon’s government owes hospitals nearly $1.3 billion in subsidies – a sum which has been rising since 2011 – but payments are slow and rarely forthcoming.

READ: Coronavirus threatens lives of thousands of refugees in Lebanon

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