Employees of a private company spray sanitising liquid around a bank to limit the spread of the coronavirus in the Lebanese capital Beirut [Anwar Amro/AFP]
The American New East Refugee Aid (Anera) started on Thursday a multi-faceted response to COVID-19 in Wavel camp for Palestinian refugees in Baalbek, Lebanon.
Wafa News Agency said the concerned Palestinian refugee fled the Syrian war and currently lives near the camp. She tested positive for the virus on Thursday. She traveled in and out of the camp often, interacting with friends and family there.
In response, Anera is going to deliver locally-made face masks to residents, volunteers and health workers in the camp and is also constructing a sterilization gate to be placed at the entrance to the camp. The NGO is working to provide food parcels to some 700 families there.
Anera said that 10 young students from Anera's vocational sewing course at the Regeneration and Development Association, its local partner in the Bekaa Valley, worked all day yesterday to produce 3,000 protective masks, which adhere to the Lebanese Ministry of Health safety guidelines to be distributed to camp residents and health workers.
"Having one person test positive is one too many in an over-crowded community such as Wavel," said Anera Country Director Samar El Yassir. "We are very concerned. A priority should be to set up as quickly as possible isolation centres where positive cases and suspected cases can be quarantined. It is impossible to isolate in a two-room house where often more than 10 people live."
Anera's initiatives are part of the Multidimensional Employability Support Package for Youth in Lebanon program: a partnership between UNICEF and Anera, with funding from the German Cooperation and the Government of the Netherlands.