“Our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the people of Lebanon and to the families of those who were injured or lost their lives in this tragedy. These are very difficult and challenging times as the world continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The Singapore Red Cross will work closely with the Lebanese Red Cross and stands ready to support its efforts to assist those affected by the tragedy,” said Mr Benjamin William, the Secretary General and CEO of Singapore Red Cross.
Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, was rocked by blasts that left 137 dead and over 5,000 injured, with dozens of people still missing. According to President Michel Aoun, the explosions were caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate in a warehouse that had been stored in an unsafe manner.
The city is now under a two-week state of emergency, but protestors have taken to the streets to denounce corruption, neglect and mismanagement.
On its part, the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) said on Wednesday, August 6, that the sum of S$50,000 to the emergency response and medical support of the Lebanese Red Cross (LRC) would be increased if necessary.
Mr William added, “The blasts have affected thousands and disrupted the provision of critical services, such medical services, made all the more urgent due to the pandemic. It is critical that we all come together to extend whatever support we can to enhance the relief operations. This will also help facilitate a quick resumption of essential medical services.”
Hours before the blasts, doctors had already announced that hospitals in Beirut were reaching their capacity as the city grappled with the coronavirus pandemic. The country has had 5,672 confirmed cases so far, and 70 deaths. The blasts, which affected hospitals in the city, will make the treatment of coronavirus patients even more difficult.
For people with family members who may have been affected by the explosions in Beirut, the Singapore Red Cross announced that it has activated its “Restoring Family Links” (RFL) service “to assist Singaporeans and others to locate their immediate family members who may have been affected by the disaster with whom they have difficulty in contacting.” Individuals who wish to avail of this service may email the Singapore Red Cross at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The organisation is also accepting donations here. —/TISG