Hospitals in Lebanon’s capital have been forced to treat patients in parking lots after multiple explosions damaged hospitals and left a big part of Beirut without electricity.
At the Saint George Hospital University Medical Center in Beirut’s Geitawi neighborhood, the urgent care building was damaged and lost power.
A chaotic scene outside the hospital unfolded with hospital staff working to clear piles of broken glass from the road. At the same time, Civil Defense teams carried patients out in stretchers, and medical staff gave first aid to less severe cases in the adjacent parking lot.
Watch: The Saint George hospital in the Geitawi neighborhood of #Beirut has been damaged and is without electricity, with doctors treating patients in the parking lot following the blasts in Port Beirut, footage from our correspondent shows.#Lebanonhttps://t.co/GIZh87KXCO pic.twitter.com/sR0CAPHrSp— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) August 4, 2020
Thousands of people were wounded and more than 50 killed during the blasts in Downtown Beirut Tuesday, Lebanon’s health minister said.
Buildings several kilometers away suffered material damage, with Cyprus even feeling the blast, and the explosions were heard over 20 kilometers away from Beirut.
“We’re bringing the patients to the emergency building, and from there, we’re trying to send them to different hospitals because the urgent care is also full ... What can we do?” a doctor at the scene told Al Arabiya English.
The Lebanese Red Cross said it had sent ten teams to help evacuate the patients.
Sleiman Haroun, head of the Syndicate of Hospitals in Lebanon called the mass injuries coming on top of the growing surge in coronavirus cases “catastrophic.”
Other hospitals around the city also reported heavy patient loads, with many calling for blood donations.
Watch: “I don’t want to give a specific number, but I will tell you that we have more than our capacity and there are many dead,” says a spokesperson for a hospital in #Beirut following the explosions that killed at least 73 people so far.#Lebanonhttps://t.co/IB8kyus4cq pic.twitter.com/lXQbCANGTg— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) August 4, 2020
Firass Abiad, director of Rafik Hariri University Hospital, which has been at the forefront in treating the country’s coronavirus cases, wrote on Twitter that the hospital had been receiving patients from Karantina Government Hospital, near the site of the explosion, most of whom had glass injuries.
Lebanon’s hospitals have already been dealing with a surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks.
A severe economic and financial crisis has led to a shortage of US dollars in the market, which has forced hospitals to limit types of treatments and even get rid of employees.
As of Monday, there were just over 5,000 positive coronavirus cases in Lebanon. The government also reimposed a nationwide lockdown and curfew as a result of the spike in cases.