Hassan: Coronavirus Not Pandemic in Lebanon


Health Minister Hamad Hassan on Monday said the novel coronavirus is “not a pandemic” in Lebanon assuring that cancellation of a flight that was scheduled to land in Beirut was a “proof that the cabinet decision to suspend flights from infected countries came into effect.”

“The decision to halt flights from infected countries came into effect. The cancellation of a trip scheduled today from Tehran to Beirut is proof,” said Hassan in remarks to VDL (100.5).

Flight IR 661 from Tehran was scheduled to arrive at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport at nine in the morning. It was set to transport Lebanese students and visitors returning to Lebanon.

The Minister emphasized the need to abide by the Ministry’s guidance instructions to prevent the spread of the virus. Noting that family awareness regarding self-quarantine in case of doubt, is the highest preventive level.

Hassan said that Lebanon has recorded ten cases of coronavirus so far in individuals travelling into Lebanon, “linked to abroad” he said. “None of the cases was transmitted internally.”

The majority of those infected in Lebanon had visited Iran in recent weeks.

Hassan said it was “reassuring “ to know that the “virus is not a pandemic.”

He said he had begun work to reduce flights from Iran and Italy by allowing only Lebanese citizens to return to their homeland and to foreigners holding valid legal residency.

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