COVID-19 Reaches Lebanon's Overcrowded Palestinian Refugee Camps


When doctors in Lebanon diagnosed a coronavirus case this week it wasn't the country's first there are several hundred cases but this one was in a Palestinian refugee camp NPR's Alice Fordham explains why that's particularly worrying maybe the first thing to say is that Palestinian camps in Lebanon on actually groups of tense natural as it is to imagine that I've heard this by the way from a lot of can you say your company even think about camels a camel to would be an unusual sight that's my mood up della who works with a charity called and narra which is helping people in Wavell camp in the east of Lebanon it's like a small village but with the a lot of buildings that are really close to each other electro wall to wall Palestinian refugees arrived in Lebanon off to Israel was created in nineteen forty eight there are now hundreds of thousands of them many live in places that are only comes in name but still crowded and poor and it was in Wavell camp home to about two thousand people where a woman second this month this lady had the some some symptoms she was that destined for coveted nineteen and she was found positive who does some run ins with the U. N.'s agency that helps Palestinians this is something she'd been fearing for weeks these are places where overcrowding is a big concern and there are some streets where that is that the ventilation and families are large and they live sometimes and one room or two rooms and all of this leads to a quick spread of any violence not although Lebanon is in some ways a dysfunctional country its response to the corona virus has been remarkably nimble after weeks of lockdown there've only been twenty two deaths in a population of five million with this diagnosis authorities swung into action after the lady was transferred to the hospital a number of the tests were conducted starting from the closed circuit of the lady at the check out to the neighborhoods and then around them something from the count insult and a hundred and forty six that were made just four of those tests were positive members of the woman's family they all isolating at home local authorities coordinated with Palestinian leaders to restrict people and goods going in and out charities distributed supplies like mosques still it's a tough time this weekend is the beginning of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan yeah now but I'm online video ID on the gel with what is already there yeah Mr Ramadan usually it's like a holiday says Harbi about Crowley who lives in the camp the family is originally from Galilee out of Oakland a's a team that beat the Zacks enough that she usually everyone's out decorating houses the entrance of the camp the mosque Hey C. N. A.'s road I'm on the line this year at Ramadan is she says simply me and we are frustrated all of that is that people have gotten even pour out because they can't walk in and I don't know if I had to sort out the best command message at the tone I'll wear a mask and put on some gloves and go to work to feed my kids she says these economic realities are what really make it difficult for Lebanon to cope with the pandemic the country is in financial crisis there's not money for enough testing or quarantine centres and it's hard to keep telling people not to go out to

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