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Jumblat: Seaside Hotels Must be Seized, Used for Quarantine

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat on Thursday warned that the coronavirus epidemic is more dangerous than both terrorism and an Israeli invasion, calling for the appropriation of seaside properties for quarantine purposes.

“We need to declare a state of emergency, seeing as death is at the doors and coronavirus is more dangerous than Israeli invasion,” Jumblat said in an interview with MTV.

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Govt. Launches Plan to Bring Home Lebanese from Abroad

Information Minister Manal Abdul Samad on Thursday explained what the government intends to do regarding the Lebanese citizens who want to return to their country due to the global coronavirus crisis.

“The Lebanese abroad who want to return to Lebanon after April 12 must fill in forms and a mechanism will be devised before March 30 to facilitate bank transfers to them,” Abdul Samad said in remarks reported by MTV.

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Israeli Army Says Downed Small Hizbullah Drone

The Israeli army brought down a small drone belonging to Hizbullah after it entered Israel’s airspace on Thursday morning, a spokesman said.

“The drone is now in the possession of the Israeli army,” Israeli army spokesman Avichay Adraee said in a tweet.

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Berri: Cabinet, Defense Council Resolutions Step in Right Direction

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Thursday lauded the latest decisions taken by Cabinet and the Higher Defense Council in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

“What has been issued by Cabinet and the Higher Defense Council as to the state of health emergency, which I have been demanding from the very beginning, is a positive step in the right direction,” Berri said in a statement.

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Govt. Extends General Mobilization, Orders 7PM-5AM Closure, Curfew

The Lebanese government on Thursday extended the so-called state of general mobilization until April 12 and ordered a general closure from 7pm until 5am with some exceptions, in an amplification of the anti-coronavirus measures, the information minister said.

The Premiership later said in a statement that only mills, bakeries, pharmacies and medical factories will be exempt from the 7pm-5am closure order, adding that citizens and residents will be barred from being on the streets.

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Diab: Current 'General Mobilization' Resembles 'State of Emergency'

Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced Thursday that Lebanon’s current state of “general mobilization” in the face of the coronavirus crisis is a state of emergency to some extent, noting that Lebanon lacks the ability to implement a complete state of emergency at the moment.

“What’s currently happening is a state of emergency in the framework of general mobilization, but the declaration of a state of emergency according to law requires measures involving a curfew and a general closure and we do not have such intentions,” Diab told reporters in a chat after a cabinet session.

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Lebanon Records 35 New Coronavirus Cases

The Health Ministry said that 35 new coronavirus cases have been registered on Thursday raising the tally to 368 in Lebanon.

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Higher Defense Council Urges Quarantine Extension

The Higher Defense Council on Thursday recommended an extension of the “general mobilization” period until April 12 to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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Safieddine: Hizbullah Set Plan to Fight Coronavirus

Head of Hizbullah’s Executive Council Hashem Safieddine said on Thursday that the party has allocated 3.5 billion Lebanese pounds for a plan “consistent with the government’s policies” to limit the spread of coronavirus.

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Coronavirus Delivers Tough Blow to Lebanon's Dying Economy

Through 15 years of civil war and various bouts of violence since, Lebanon's Barbar eatery never closed its doors, serving up sandwiches to customers even if it meant doing so from behind sandbags.

The coronavirus pandemic, however, has managed to do what various wars could not: Close bars, restaurants and entertainment spots across the tiny Mediterranean country. It's an economic gut punch at a time when Lebanon is already mired in the worst financial crisis in its history.

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