Asmar Says Virus Death Rate is ‘Alarming’, Urges Abidance by Rules
Spokesperson of the Lebanese Higher Defense Council Brig. Gen Mahmoud al-Asmar warned on Tuesday of the latest alarming death rate in Lebanon as the result of coronavirus, noting that a decision to extend or not the lockdown is up to the government.
“The huge leap in deaths we saw yesterday as a result of coronavirus is scary, we urge Lebanese to abide by the rules and we urge security forces to be even more strict in rule application,” said Asmar in televised remarks to LBCI.
Asmar said “people tend to break the rules,” but he urged full commitment in order to halt the spread of the virus, noting that efforts are ongoing to improve the lockdown procedures.
“A decision to extend the lockdown or not is taken by the government,” he said.
On Thursday, Lebanese authorities began enforcing an 11-day nationwide shutdown and round-the-clock curfew, hoping to blunt the spread of coronavirus infections spinning out of control after the holiday period.
Asmar said: “The health situation is terrible and the hospitals are at full capacity. I urge people to abide by precautionary rules.”
Lebanon on Monday reported 53 new coronavirus deaths, a new record high daily death toll for the small country.
It also registered 3,144 new virus cases in a 24-period, the Health Ministry said.
The new fatalities raise the overall death toll to 1,959.
The fresh cases meanwhile take the country’s overall tally since February 21 to 255,956 cases -- among them 3,657 cases detected among arriving travelers and 154,611 recoveries.
“We are working seriously on the idea of creating centers in some areas to try to relieve pressure on hospitals,” added Asmar.
Lebanon, a country of more than 6 million, including at least 1 million refugees, has seen a massive climb in infections since Christmas and New Year holidays. The surge has overwhelmed hospitals and the health care system.