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South African living in Beirut shares account of blast, 'no paracetamol left'

6 August 2020 10:04 AM
Tags:
Beirut
Beirut explosions
South African in Beirut

Mia Shammas lives and works in Beirut and says the main medical supply storage depot was blown up and meds are urgently needed.

Mia Shammas is a South African who now lives and works in Beirut. She owns and runs a radio station in the city, has been living in the country for 7 years, and is a dual citizen.

She talks to Refilwe Moloto about the blast and the aftermath.

We live 10 kilometres away from the blast site and we felt it as if that bomb hit our house.

Mia Shammas, South African living in Beirut

Shammas says the ongoing political instability in Lebanon, the civil war compounded with Covid-19, has hit the country hard. Now, this blast is the last straw she adds.

The people of Lebanon have been through so much.

Mia Shammas, South African living in Beirut

The thing we need most is medicines. One of the main medical supply storage departments were blown up in the blast. Basic things like paracetamol, Panados, we've run out of that. We've run out of oncology medicine, we've run out of antibiotics.

Mia Shammas, South African living in Beirut

She says the city is also running out of food.

One of the main wheat silos that you can see in that footage acted like a large sandbag for that blast. It was the only thing remaining after that crater was created.

Mia Shammas, South African living in Beirut

Construction materials and glass are also in very short supply.

You can imagine the amount of broken glass in the city right now.

Mia Shammas, South African living in Beirut

She says the country relies heavily on imports and has now lost its main seaport which makes it even harder to rebuild the country.

It is definitely an emotional time for everyone. The shockwaves were felt through the world, shockwaves were felt in Cyprus 200 kilometers away. But, the resilience of the Lebanese people, the hospital staff just gets up and keep going.

Mia Shammas, South African living in Beirut

Hospitals are not charging people for treatment after the blast she says and despite electricity supplies being of surgeons are finding ways to do surgeries using cell phone flashlights.

Listen to the interview below:


6 August 2020 10:04 AM
Tags:
Beirut
Beirut explosions
South African in Beirut

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