Leading Dr. Nidal Mawla in Lebanon’s coronavirus response is requesting MPs and ministers to donate a month’s worth of salary to help combat the virus. As of March 15, the number of those infected in the country has reached almost 100. 

According to the McKinsey 2018 Lebanon Economic Vision Report, 46 percent of government revenue is used to pay the wages and salaries of government officials. It is estimated that any donation from these officials will greatly aid in the purchase of supplies for combating the virus.

MP Fadi Fakhry Alame took to Twitter earlier today to state that he will donate his monthly salary to the medical team at Rafik Hariri University Hospital.

The request comes on the day the cabinet is set to declare a state of medical emergency across the country, where public and private institutions are expected to shut down to prevent further spread of the virus. 

Hospitals, pharmacies, and bakeries will remain open for the present time, and supermarkets will have limited opening hours according to Al-Jazeera.

The airport will remain open for now, but Prime Minister Hassan Diab has already issued a travel ban preventing travel to and from Iran, Italy, South Korea, China, Spain, France, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Germany and the United Kingdom. The decision on the ban is set to be reviewed on March 23. 

The government is also considering restricting mobility for the time being, tightening its grip on the outbreak.

With many citizens choosing to distance themselves from one another to contain the outbreak, images of an empty Beirut have gone viral over the weekend. Restaurants, shops, and many others have temporarily shut their doors, including Beirut’s famous Barbar Restaurant, which has not closed its doors in recent history.

In times of dire need, the country must band together in order to collectively preserve its health and wellbeing. Please choose to stay home, fill your time with work or leisure, and keep yourself and others safe.