Lebanon Explosion - Update for Partners: August 9, 2020

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Current Situation and Impact on Health Sector

The recent explosion near the main port in Beirut on 4 th August 2020 caused widespread damage and resulted in scores dead and over 6000 injured. These casualties have significantly overwhelmed the health system that was already reeling from a socio-economic crisis and the ongoing COVID pandemic.

Furthermore, the MOPH central warehouse where WHOsupported essential medical supplies were stored has been severely damaged, necessitating immediate relocation to a different warehouse. Moreover, a recently delivered shipment of PPE, stored at the Beirut port warehouse pending transfer to MOPH warehouse was completely destroyed, leaving the nation in need of urgent trauma and PPE supplies.

While initial assessments indicate that three major hospitals are now non-functioning and two others are functioning well below capacity, a more thorough assessment of the impact on the health system is required. Early reports indicate that many health centers and primary care facilities are also damaged and/or out of action. WHO is deeply concerned about the hospital and health workforce capacity, supplies of medicine, and potential chemical contamination and is supporting MOH in a detailed assessment of the damage to and functioning of health facilities.