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Knowledge and protection concerns around Covid-19 in informal tented settlements in the Bekaa, Lebanon

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NRC Lebanon is responding to the threat of Covid-19 by ensuring the continuity of critical activities, including water, hygiene and shelter support and through addressing protection concerns of the most vulnerable displaced persons. In an effort to tailor ongoing and future programming to best meet emerging needs linked to Covid-19, NRC conducted informant interviews in informal tented settlements. Questions revolved around perceptions, concerns and priorities linked to Covid-19.

On 8 December 2019, Covid-19 was identified as a new disease caused by a novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2). The virus was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei province in China. On 21 February, the first Covid-19 case in Lebanon was confirmed and at the time of writing (22 March), there are 248 officially confirmed cases. The virus is primarily transmitted via respiratory droplets projected when people sneeze, cough or exhale. Typical symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, dry cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, muscle pain and tiredness. Most people recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people with COVID-19 develops more severe symptoms which can lead to pneumonia, organ failure and death. The elderly and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes and respiratory disease are more likely to develop serious symptoms and need hospitalisation.