Beirut. Malteser International is expanding its mobile and stationary healthcare facilities to ensure rapid assistance for people affected in Tuesday's explosion in Beirut, Lebanon. Initial assessments from relief teams have revealed the extent of damage to health infrastructure and the poor state of medical care in the city.
"There is a worrying lack of medicines which could increase infections." said Oliver Hochedez, Malteser International's Emergency Relief Coordinator. "Covid-19 is still here and overall situation is dire. People who have survived the catastrophe are now facing life-threatening conditions."
The most vulnerable people in the society have been hit particularly hard by the crisis. "In addition to those with injuries and burns sustained in the blast, people with chronic illnesses are also in need of urgent care. However, their chances of receiving treatment in hospitals are particularly poor at present. For now, Covid-19 patients and those who sustained serious injuries from the explosion are priority," said Hochedez. "Along with the Lebanese Association of the Order of Malta, we remain committed to working for the long-term recovery of the people of Beirut. Many people have suffered trauma and remain in shock. There is a difficult road ahead."
The death toll from the explosion that hit the National Port of Beirut on Tuesday, August 4, is now at 157. The figure is expected to rise as more bodies are found under the rubble. The explosion generated shockwaves that shattered windows and destroyed buildings across the Lebanese capital. Malteser International has been working in cooperation with the Lebanese Association of the Knights of Malta since 2014, providing medical care for Syrian refugees and vulnerable host communities.
Note to editors:
Raymond Tarabay is in Lebanon and available for interviews.
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