No need to panic! Words repeated by the Lebanese Minister of Public Health Hamad Hasan three weeks ago when he first announced that Lebanon had identified its first case of the notorious coronavirus, technically known as COVID-19. Hamad’s assurances soon proved fallacious, as the coronavirus continued to spread across the country with no clear plan of action being deployed by the government of Hassan Diab to try to limit its spread. Alarmingly the Lebanese government dragged its feet and took no immediate action by stopping flights from Iran and Italy, the two countries that were initially identified as the source of the infected cases Lebanon was treating.
People wearing face masks walk outside Rafik Hariri hospital, where Lebanon's first coronavirus case is being quarantined, in Beirut, Lebanon February 21, 2020. (Reuters)