Lebanon Extends All-day Lockdown Until Feb. 8


Lebanon extended a total all-day lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus until February 8, the Prime Minister’s office said in a statement on Thursday.

"The total lockdown is extended to February 8, 5 am," the Higher Defense Council, Lebanon's top security body, said in a statement.

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.

Lebanon began a daytime and nighttime curfew on January 14 where all public and private cars were banned from the streets.

All citizens are to remain at home with few exceptions, including health professionals, journalists, those working in the food sector and other essential workers, the statement added.

All public and private institutions and commercial banks will meanwhile be closed while supermarkets and restaurants will be allowed to offer delivery services from 5am till 5pm.

The National Social Security Fund, medical and foodstuffs factories, wholesale foodstuff markets, flour mills, bakeries, pharmacies, medical labs, clinics, money exchange and transfer shops, fuel stations and insurance companies will meanwhile be allowed to operate during certain times of the day.

Authorities had vowed to re-examine some exemptions amid an outcry from industrialists and businessmen about the impact of closures on the economy.

Lebanon recorded 4,332 cases on Wednesday raising the tally to 252,812 since the first case was detected in February last year. It also registered a total of 2,084 deaths.

The World Bank announced Thursday it will put $34 million into a program to provide coronavirus vaccines for more than two million people in Lebanon, which is experiencing a major surge in Covid-19 cases.

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