Lebanon's Prime Minister Najib Mikati hailed the UAE’s generosity as he inaugurated the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Hospital Centre for treating Covid-19 in the capital Beirut.
During a media tour of the hospital on Wednesday, Mr Mikati thanked the UAE for its support in the fight against the pandemic.
The hospital is named after Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
“Lebanon can never forget that the UAE keeps giving and cultivating love without expecting anything in return,” Mr Mikati said.
The hospital has 80 beds and is ready to accept patients, Public Health Minister Firas Abiad said.
Some will be treated as outpatients, while others will be admitted to its wards or referred to specialist clinics. All treatment will be comparatively cheap.
“The operating costs of the centre will be covered by coronavirus specific donations given to the ministry, which continues its efforts to secure more funding,” Mr Abiad said on Tuesday.
”The centre will be open to all patients without exception, with a nominal price of 200,000 Lebanese pounds for a preliminary evaluation which includes a PCR test, and a maximum of LBP 400,000 if a hospital stay for a day or two is required.“
The centre, a “gift” from the UAE, will be operated jointly by the Lebanese Red Cross and Rafik Hariri University Hospital, Lebanon’s Ministry of Public Health said on Tuesday.
It also contains a laboratory, radiology equipment and power generators.
”This makes it equal in capabilities to other advanced and effective health centres,” Mr Abiad said.
On Saturday, Mr Abiad said the Omicron variant had hit Lebanon like a “tsunami”.
“The situation in hospitals and ICUs remains stable, capacity is being boosted,” he said on Twitter.
Lebanon has reported a surge of positive PCR tests this week, with 6,665 new cases added to the country’s total on Tuesday.