The first case of “Corona” virus in Lebanon did not come from Iran?


Mayssam Rizk wrote in the newspaper “Al-Akhbar” that “instead of talking about the” nationality “of the source of the epidemic, and making it a material in the political bazaar, it should have been noted that the arrival of the virus in Lebanon occurred before the Iranian plane. This matter is being investigated by the epidemiological surveillance team. In the Ministry of Health, which must announce this to determine a “head” that is still perhaps unidentified, contributed to the spread of the epidemic before the Iranian plane arrived and the announcement of the first case. “Al-Akhbar” learned that the symptoms appeared on a number of the injured since February 26, that is, after Five days after the plane’s arrival, one of them is the teacher Maroun Karam, who is He died on March 11. Most of the other injured were from the parents residing in the Monastery of Saint Joseph in Ashrafieh, who were only announced in a tweet published by the Jesuit monk Father Roni Gemayel through his page on Facebook on March 8, saying: “It became clear to us that two monks Residents of the Saint Joseph Monastery, infected with the Covid 19 virus, and as a precautionary measure all residents of the monastery were quarantined for two weeks ».

This Tweet was not accompanied by any additional details on how the infection occurred. But what many people do not know is that the symptoms began to appear on the parents after only 4 days of “spiritual sport” in which 20 people participated in the monastery between 20 and 22 February. So what happened?

Jesuit sources told Al-Akhbar that symptoms of a cough and fever appeared on February 26 on one of the fathers, and summoned him to be taken to the hospital, before he was discharged the next day, as the hospital did not notice that he might be infected with the Corona virus. According to sources in the monastery, the father returned to the monastery and mixed with the other monks, as usual, then the symptoms returned to him and he was again hospitalized on 6 March, and he became a “suspect” of the injury. After the necessary examination, he was confirmed to be infected with the virus.

The aforementioned father was not the only one to show symptoms during this period. One of the lawyers and his wife were involved in the same spiritual sport, and they also had symptoms after only 4 days. The lawyer received a call from the monastery a week after being asked to perform the examination “due to the presence of injuries between the team that was participating in the activity”, and the result was also positive.

Information about this activity, infection and attendance is surrounded by a high degree of secrecy. This was reflected in the words of a number of participants, whom Al-Akhbar spoke to, confusing and contradicting information. One of them said, “The activity lasted two days, between February 20 and 22 of it.” Then, he retreated and said, “It is for one day, on February 22, for an hour.” Knowing that one of the people in the monastery had pointed out that “the activity lasted for hours and there was dinner.”

Among the information circulated is that the vector was a monk who came to Lebanon from Italy. According to one of the followers of the case, the study of the case confirms that the person who transmitted the infection arrived in Lebanon between February 15 and February 20. Has the Ministry of Health identified the source? Was the case pursued to prevent the problem from getting worse? Sources in the Ministry of Health confirm the existence of what is being kept secret, either in monasticism, or in the Hotel Dieu Hospital. Several participants say they do not know the source of the infection. This incomplete information is still in the investigation department of the ministry, which is still unable to determine the source of the first injury, and it is in contact with the injured in the monastery to try to obtain details that could be useful in the monitoring process.

The primary responsibility lies with the Ministry of Health. But this does not absolve monasticism from its responsibility. It is more appropriate to open an investigation into the matter. Hiding the matter and hinging on the political fuss over the Iranian plane may contribute to concealing the truth, but at the same time it puts a lot of life at risk (the fourth death case that was recorded in Lebanon yesterday due to Corona believed to be related to the same series). The hadith here has nothing to do with registering positions that are invested in politics, nor is it a race between the first “issuer” or the second “issuer”. Rather, it is related to the importance of identifying the head of each chain from which the infection started to avoid spread, and because early detection of injuries and the start of treatment raises the rates of recovery (On the Iranian plane, an Iranian patient who has been living in Lebanon for many years arrived. He came from Kuwait to Beirut via Iran, and it was found that he had Corona. Although he was suffering from cancer, and that he was more than 77 years old, the early diagnosis of Corona allowed his condition to improve. Yesterday he went out of the intensive care room to a standard room.)

The Jesuit fathers in Lebanon waited until the day before yesterday to issue a statement about those infected with the Corona virus, saying: “To this day, there are 11 Jews from the monks of Derry in Bikfaya and Beirut who are infected with the new Corona virus, 4 of them are receiving treatment in the hospital. The Beirutis of Beirut are bound by the quarantine from March 7 until further notice. They are subjected to continuous health monitoring, and for periodic analyzes, and the Jesuit joined them from the Bikfaya monastery on March 15 ». In turn, the municipality of Bikfaya – Al-Muhaidith, announced in a statement that “given the available information about the possibility of a number of Jesuit fathers residing in Our Lady of Deliverance in Bikfaya, Corona virus infection as a result of their meeting with an infected Italian person. After it became clear that one of the fathers had a positive result without any apparent symptoms, he served the Mass in the Church of Our Lady of Deliverance in Bikfaya », and called on all persons who were in the Mass to take the maximum measures of health protection through complete home quarantine and not to contact with other people until the required stone period has passed ». The municipality’s statement proves again, according to sources involved in the case, that the “Jesuits” had to be transparent and issue a statement on what had happened, at least since the late Maroun Karam was transferred to the hospital (on February 27). Early advertising allows for steps to be taken to limit the spread, as well as to treat the injured.


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