Hard on the eyes: Beirut blast leaves many half-blinded

WION Web Team
Beirut, Lebanon Updated: Aug 18, 2020, 11:40 AM(IST)

Members of rescue team search for bodies and survivors amid the rubble three days after the explosion in Beirut Photograph:( AFP )

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At least 400 people suffered ocular injuries, more than 50 required surgery, and at least 15 have been permanently blinded in one eye, according to data compiled by major hospitals in and around Beirut.

The deadly Beirut explosion that killed 177 people, wounded thousands more and devastated swaths of the city, left many maimed, mostly because of flying shards of glass and debris.

At least 400 people suffered ocular injuries, more than 50 required surgery, and at least 15 have been permanently blinded in one eye, according to data compiled by major hospitals in and around Beirut.

Sama, five-year-old girl from the northern Syrian city of Manbij, suffered an eye injury from the blast after sent shards of glass flying into her eyes.

Her father, Makhoul Al-Hamad, said, ''Sama was in the living room, a few meters away from the window. When the blast happened, her mother immediately engulfed her, thinking that she protected her. After more than three minutes, we realised that Sama's eye was injured and that she is bleeding."

Also see: 60 heritage sites risk collapse after Beirut blast

Maroun Dagher, a websolutions developer, was also blinded in one eye during the Beirut explosion. 

He said he dreams that he could see everything but when he wakes up he realises it is just a dream.

"I had plans to learn new things. I had plans to learn skydiving, or to dive. You know, just plans that I wanted to do during my life. I don't know about my career because I am a developer, so I don't know how much I can still use the same skills," he said.

Also see: Satellite images capture Beirut before vs after devastating blast

Lebanon's health minister warned Monday that hospitals are reaching maximum capacity to treat coronavirus patients after the deadly Beirut blast overwhelmed clinics and as COVID-19 cases have mounted.

"Public and private hospitals in the capital in particular have a very limited capacity, whether in terms of beds in intensive care units or respirators," the minister, Hamad Hassan, told a press conference.

"We are on the brink, we don't have the luxury to take our time," he warned, calling for authorities to take the "hard decision" to impose a new two-week lockdown to stem the spread of the virus. 

Lebanon has seen a spike in coronavirus-related cases and deaths in recent weeks, and they have hit a new record in the aftermath of the massive explosion that ripped through large parts of Beirut on August 4.

 

 

 

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