Lebanon to Reportedly Harden Anti-Coronavirus Measures
Lebanon, which began a 25-day lockdown Thursday to curb a huge surge in Covid-19 cases, is inclined to toughen the measures further in light of the dire health situation, TV networks said on Sunday.
“There is an inclination to toughen the anti-coronavirus measures and close the airport for a week,” al-Jadeed TV reported.
“There is an inclination to impose a curfew and close all public institutions and administrations except for some essential ministries,” it added.
It also said that the anti-coronavirus committee has recommended the closure of shops and supermarkets.
LBCI television for its part said that “the anti-coronavirus committee will submit recommendations to the ministerial committee demanding the closure of the Rafik Hariri International Airport, the borders and most sectors for seven days.”
The committee will also ask for ending lockdown exceptions and the Higher Defense Council will announce the date of the new measures, LBCI added.
Privately-owned al-Markazia news agency meanwhile reported that the caretaker cabinet is inclined to take a decision to shut down the country from Wednesday until February 1.
Earlier in the day, President Michel Aoun scheduled a Monday emergency meeting for the Higher Defense Council to discuss the health situation in the country and the circumstances of the medical sector.
Lebanon already began implementing a 25-day lockdown on Thursday in a bid to rein in the deteriorating situation. The current lockdown is the third since the first case was reported in Lebanon in late February. It has shut down most businesses and limited traffic by imposing an odd-and-even license plate rule on alternating days. It has also reduced the number of flights at the country's only international airport.
A daily 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew has also been enforced.
Lebanon on Saturday registered a new staggering tally of 5,414 coronavirus cases while 5,440 cases were recorded on Friday.
The high tallies come in the wake of the holiday season, in which tens of thousands of visitors flew into the country to celebrate Christmas and New Year's.
First responders in the country hit by a severe economic crisis say they have been transporting nearly 100 patients a day to hospitals that are now reporting near-full occupancy in beds and intensive care units.
Lebanon saw new infections start to increase during the summer, following a massive explosion in Beirut's port in August that shook the city and its heath sector, killing over 200 people and injuring 6,000. August's numbers increased by over 300% from July as a result and have since been climbing.