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Lebanon hospitals warn power cuts threaten ‘catastrophe’

Supporters of Lebanon's prime minister-designate Saad Hariri, who stepped down saying he was unable to form a government, hurl stones at a Lebanese armored personnel carrier (unseen) in the capital Beirut on July 15, 2021. (AFP)
Supporters of Lebanon's prime minister-designate Saad Hariri, who stepped down saying he was unable to form a government, hurl stones at a Lebanese armored personnel carrier (unseen) in the capital Beirut on July 15, 2021. (AFP)

Hospitals in crisis-hit Lebanon warn of a looming “catastrophe” as some were only hours away from running out of fuel to keep life-saving equipment on during endless state power cuts.

Lebanon’s worst financial and economic crisis ever is battering an already fragile health sector as it faces the latest wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

The state electricity supplier has all but stopped supplying power in recent weeks, forcing homes, businesses and hospitals to rely on backup generators almost around the clock.

But the syndicate of private hospitals on Thursday warned they were struggling to procure enough fuel to keep theirs on.

“Hospitals are unable to find fuel oil to power generators during power outages of at least 20 hours a day,” it says in a statement. “A number of hospitals risk running out in coming hours, which will put the lives of patients in danger,” it warns, without specifying how many facilities were at immediate risk.

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