Diab Says Lebanon is Only 2nd Nation to Enforce 'Harsh' Lockdown


Caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab on Thursday announced that Lebanon has become the second country in the world to implement “harsh” measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.

“The measures that are being implemented by the government have made Lebanon the second nation in the world to harshly implement the measures that are necessary to combat this pandemic,” Diab said at the beginning of a Higher Defense Council session.

“We are also seeking to increase the number of coronavirus beds in hospitals,” he added.

President Michel Aoun for his part said that “compliance with the full lockdown decision was positive and recorded a high rate despite the presence of some breaches that need to be addressed.”

The Defense Council later prolonged the total lockdown by two weeks to stem an unprecedented rise in coronavirus cases and protect the collapsing health sector.

The strict restrictions include a round-the-clock curfew and limit grocery shopping to home deliveries.

The complete lockdown had initially been due to run from January 14 to January 25.

But daily infection rates have remained exceptionally high and Covid-19 death tolls are spiking.

The health ministry said late Wednesday that a record 64 people had died from the disease in the previous 24 hours.

Firass Abiad, the head of Lebanon's main state hospital treating coronavirus, backed the new extension.

Lebanon has reached the stage of "an uncontrolled epidemic with limited additional health system capacity available," he said.

Intensive care units are near full, with occupancy rates of 91 percent nationwide and more than 97 percent in Beirut on Wednesday, the World Health Organization said.

Lebanon has recorded 264,647 coronavirus cases and 2,084 deaths since February 2020 in total.

Cases skyrocketed after families gathered during the end-of-year holidays and authorities allowed revelers to gather in bars until 3 am, despite warnings from health professionals.

Lebanon is expecting its first vaccines next month.

Comments 7
Thumb justin 21 January 2021, 16:43

This guy never ceases to amaze! He blows his own horn hoping to be recognised. It is his government's utter incompetence that led to this health disaster.

Thumb cedar 21 January 2021, 17:28

4. Set up national system to use paywave contactless payment system via card instead of using cash as the virus is spread through contact with cash.

5. All police and army to be tested daily (anyone operating in public must be tested daily.)

6. Masks to be free and mandatory. Do not re use masks!!! Re use of masks will spread the virus . Masks are one time a day use!!!

Thumb cedar 21 January 2021, 17:39

7. Each region in lebanon must be locked down. Citizens cannot travel from one region to another except in the case of emergency or critical work or exceptional circumstances to care for those who don't have anyone.

8. Use of vaccine (oxford Astrazenica) not Pfizer of possible because the use of the Rna/dna vaccine is still too new and the oxford university vaccine is old technology (same as influenza technique) meaning it is a tried and proven system as opposed to the new rna dna ones. Preferably avoid use of vaccines for 2 years to get results from other nations first.

9. Any person over the age of 50 must be considered high risk and all people over 60 very high risk and should be given extra education. All media outlets are to broadcast at least 8 covid education announcements that are 30 to 60 seconds in length and created by the health ministry to educate people on facts and so people don't believe dangerous fake information.

Thumb cedar 21 January 2021, 17:42

(8 announcements per hour*!)

Thumb cedar 21 January 2021, 17:49

10. The establishment of an online national record system for all people who go to any location such as a shop or petrol station etc. Scan a government created QR code at each location on mobile phone and fill in your name and contact number and those names of people who are with you visiting that location. That allows contract tracing to determine who has been in contact with an infected location or person and will stop the spread of the virus by advising people they have visited a infected location when the health ministry finds out.

The contact tracing system needs to determine all people who are infected with the virus and where they have been and who they have come in contact with (who has been within 1.5m of them personally or stayed more than 10 minutes with them (with or without a mask it makes no difference). And then to create a case for each person and create a link to all other people and 'contact trace' the virus.

Thumb khallas_ba2a 21 January 2021, 17:58

Thats all he is good for, receiving info (ranking) about Leb and stating it to the citizens.

Thumb khallas_ba2a 21 January 2021, 17:59

Thats all he is good for, receiving info (ranking) about Leb and stating it to the citizens.