“We need everything to hospitalize the victims, and there is an acute shortage of everything,” Hamad Hasan, Lebanon’s health minister.
More than 135 people have been killed and 6,000 injured, with many bodies still buried under the rubble after the nightmarish blast on Tuesday. The explosion and shock-waves were reportedly heard as far away as Cyprus.
Beirut relies heavily on its port for imports and supplies, and the destruction of the port will have a strong impact on the city that has already been struggling. The monetary loss from Beirut’s blast may reach $10 billion to $15 billion, a staggering figure that includes both direct and indirect losses related to business and property damage.
Beirut’s city governor Marwan Abboud has said that nearly 300,000 people are in need of food, shelter and basic necessities, having lost their homes. He also stated that they may also face a food crisis soon as the amount of wheat available is very limited unless they get international help.
Four hospitals in Beirut are badly damaged due to the explosion and unable to admit new patients. The blast also hit a warehouse that kept most of the city’s vaccine supply. Other hospitals have reported damages to their facilities which has significantly reduced their capacity to treat the wounded and sick.
The hospitals that remain functional still, have the added strain on top of tackling the corona virus pandemic of treating blast victims on limited supplies and staff. Pharmacies have run out of supplies, leaving people vulnerable and unable to get the medical help they need. Hundreds of thousands now face displacement and homelessness as they can’t afford to rebuild their homes.