Foreign

News Analysis: Lebanese experts suggest cautious reopening of Beirut’s airport to support troubled economy

Published

on

News Today 2

Despite the daily increase in COVID-19 infections in Lebanon, experts believe the cautious reopening of Beirut International Airport as scheduled is a necessary measure to support the country’s troubled economy .

The prime minister’s office announced in a statement on Friday that Beirut -Rafic Hariri International Airport is scheduled to restart operating from July 1, with only 10 percent of its capacity a year ago, or about 2,000 passengers a day.

The statement said passengers will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival and take a second test three days later to prevent any potential spread of the virus in Lebanon.

If testing positive, passengers must be quarantined for two weeks, it noted.

Firas Abiad, director general of Rafic Hariri University Hospital, told Xinhua that the airport should be reopened given the dire economic situation in the country, only if proper measures are carried out to curb the spread of the virus.

“The question that should be asked here is whether we have enough PCR tests for all arrivals,” Abiad said.

According to the airport chief, the health ministry is capable of providing 2,500 PCR tests per day while the private labs could serve as complements if the arrivals are willing to pay for their tests.

Abiad also suggests the Lebanese authorities follow up on arrivals and their staying locations.

“If people lie about their staying locations and phone numbers they should be arrested and punished at the airport when they return to their countries of residence,” he said.

Jean Beyrouthy, head of the Federation of Touristic Syndicates, said passengers can take COVID-19 tests in their countries of residence before travelling to Lebanon and waiting for test results.

Patrick Mardini, president of Lebanese Institute for Market Studies, told Xinhua that the negative repercussions of delaying the reopening of the airport, if any, could be worse than COVID-19 itself.

“Lebanon will face a much worse situation if authorities decide to delay the reopening of the airport because tourism can generate around 4 billion dollars in fresh money during summer season,” he explained.

Lebanon has witnessed in the past few months a shortage in the United States dollars amid an economic slowdown, the drop in cash injections from Lebanese abroad, and money transfers by big depositors to foreign countries.

Currently, the Lebanese central bank’s foreign reserves, valued at 22 billion dollars, can barely cover the country’s needs for wheat, oil and medical products for a few more months.

With an annual revenue of around 8 billion dollars from 2015 to 2018, tourism has traditionally been one of Lebanon’s leading economic sectors, providing employment and income for a large segment of the population.

(XINHUA)

Short Link: https://wp.me/pcj2iU-3kvl

NNN

NNN: :is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor @ nnn.ng

Recent Posts

NAFDAC tasks stakeholders on drug abuse eradication FG set to facilitate provision of Assistive Technologies for PWDs ICPC calls for strict law enforcement to tackle corruption Buhari inaugurates steering committee on poverty reduction U.S. varsities admit about 13,000 Nigerians yearly Event planner faces N4.3m fraud charge Excessive exposure to social media risk factor for depression, suicide — Neuropsychiatrist FG assures of safe release of Birnin-Yauri students Install safety valves to reduce explosions, FRSC urges tanker owners Osinbajo lauds Abuja MSMEs over job creation FG insists Twitter ban is in Nigeria’s interest APC Group mobilises support for military Access Bank unveils Womenpreneur Pitch-a-ton Season 3 Breaking the cycle of neglect: the powerful impact of eliminating worms. Qatar Airways will operate double daily flights to Lagos AMCOW launches African Sanitation Policy Guidelines Character Assassination: Seven Action Points Required Mastercard Foundation Appoints Robin Washington to Board of Directors The cloud as a tool to create certainty Role of media in achieving migration goals crucial – IOM BitDAO will save 230 million dollars to launch two major DAOs in the world Thales appoints Gregory Ligny vice president for Africa Flood: Okowa appeals to Warri/Effurun residents for patience Row over plans for new royal yacht in Britain European shares set to follow Wall Street higher on Tuesday Troops arrest suspected bandit in possession of military kits – Army Ogun Govt. identifies data as tool for proper health planning Philippine leader threatens jail for those who refuse vaccine jabs Re-appointment of Guterres, a vote of confidence – UN deputy chief Brazil: Officer convicted for crimes under military dictatorship Philippines’ Duterte lashes out at ICC over drug war probe Almost 11,000 migrants waiting for visas to join family in Germany Grave violations against children in conflict remain ‘alarmingly high’- UN Insurgency: Zulum urges resumption of Naval operations in Baga NYSC organises free medical outreach for Lagos residents NYSC medical outreach benefits 2m Nigerians — DG Chadian activist seeks Nigeria’s support to restore peace in his country Osinbajo rallies youths on active engagement in politics LASG gives 3-day ultimatum to property owners encroaching on canals Patricide: We’ll rely on advice from DPP – Police We are supporting states to intensify cholera outbreak response – NCDC By Abujah Racheal Widow of slain Oyo journalist wants killers brought to justice Buhari appoints Ekpungu EFCC Secretary, names board members Gunmen kill ATM customer in Ibadan Makinde inaugurates Oyo Security Network board, Amotekun corps Nigerian army dismisses video of soldiers mutilating suspect Anambra 2021: PDP NWC meets stakeholders, sues for unity FG pays N10b to 1m beneficiaries every 2 months -Coordinator COVID-19: Union urges Nigerians in S/Africa to obey new lockdown rules COVID-19: World Bank, AU partner to support vaccination for 400m Africans