Al-Rahi Urges 'More Serious' Anti-Coronavirus Approach


Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi on Sunday called on Lebanese authorities to adopt a “more serious approach” in its measures against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“The biggest concern is the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which is threatening the safety of citizens be them young or old,” al-Rahi said in his Sunday Mass sermon.

“It requires accurate solutions and a more serious approach,” he urged.

Al-Rahi added: “We pray to God to help the officials and inspire them about the best means to overcome the stifling economic and financial crisis. We also plead to God to protect our people from hunger, need and sickness, especially the coronavirus disease.”

Lebanon has confirmed seven coronavirus cases and the patients are being quarantined at Beirut’s state-run hospital. The majority of those infected had visited Iran in recent weeks.

Lebanese authorities have ordered the closure of all educational institutions and nurseries until March 9 and have banned citizens of China, Iran, Italy and South Korea from visiting Lebanon unless they have residency permits.

Religious visits to Iran and Iraq have meanwhile been halted but Lebanese authorities have said that Lebanese citizens in the most affected countries will be allowed to return home.

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