NNA – Caretaker Public Health Minister, Hamad Hassan, stressed Tuesday that “there is no lifting of subsidy on medicine,” adding that “the problem of drug scarcity is not related to the Ministry of Public Health, but rather involves the Central Bank and medicine companies due to the financial crisis between them.”


Speaking to “Al-Jadid TV” Channel earlier today, Hassan said: “An agreement was reached between the Ministry of Public Health and the Banque du Liban on a solution mechanism that includes issuing final lists of drugs required by the market.” He added that committees commissioned by the Health Ministry have been working on these lists which are to be completed by tomorrow, based on which the Central Bank will begin to issue bills of one hundred million dollars covering most of the needed drugs so that warehouses can start distributing.


The Caretaker Minister explained that “fifty percent of the missing drugs are in warehouses, but importers need a financial promise from the Central Bank before medicines are delivered.”


“The Health Ministry bears additional responsibility by forming a committee whose task is to determine the quantity of drugs that Lebanon needs and to inform the Central Bank of the priorities at this stage so an not to import more quantities than required,” he maintained.


Hassan hoped that border security apparatuses would exercise strict measures in combating drug smuggling, while urging citizens not to convert homes into ‘auxiliary pharmacies’ which would contribute to deepening the crisis further.


Referring to the COVID-19 vaccination process, Hassan pointed to the marathon that will be organized next Saturday which will be open for vaccination with AstraZeneca in centers designated for this vaccine in various regions. He underlined the need for prior registration on the official platform for the vaccine and encouraged citizens to find the means for registration, noting that this marathon is dedicated to those over thirty years of age, hoping for a wide response by citizens especially in the governorates that witness a low registration turnout.


“This marathon aims to stimulate the race for vaccines between the aforementioned governorates,” he said, announcing that Lebanon will receive two million vaccines in June and July 2021, which will increase the rate of herd immunity that is expected to reach about seventy-five percent in August with the large quantities of vaccinations soon to arrive.


Source: National News Agency – Lebanon


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