WATCH: MTV Lebanese anchor Nabila Awad announces state of emergency, criticizes government for politicizing coronavirus

Lebanese news presenter at MTV, Nabila Awad, called on people to act as if there was a state of emergency in Lebanon, asking people to stay at home. (Screengrab)
Short Url
Updated 12 March 2020

WATCH: MTV Lebanese anchor Nabila Awad announces state of emergency, criticizes government for politicizing coronavirus

  • PM was criticized for taking too long to ban flights from Iran
  • Social media users called on the government to ‘lock down the entire country’

BEIRUT: Lebanese people took to social media on Wednesday to call on the government and Prime Minister Hassan Diab to impose a state of emergency and a nationwide lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic.
Diab was also criticized for taking too long to ban flights from Iran, center of one of the worst outbreaks outside of China.
One Twitter user named Jessy said: “Let us declare a state of emergency in the country before it is too late, before we all lose a loved one, and before it all gets out of hand!”
Diab said Wednesday that Lebanon has suspended flights from Italy, South Korea, Iran and China, the countries hit hardest by the l coronavirus. The measures came as Lebanon announced its second death from COVID-19 in two days.
Several other users wrote “Lock down the entire country NOW” repeatedly and used the hashtag “Declare a state of emergency” was trending.
Taking it a step further, Lebanese news presenter at MTV, Nabila Awad, took it upon herself to tell it as it is and called on people to act as if there was a state of emergency in Lebanon, asking people to stay at home to avoid becoming infected.

“The government today has certain considerations and does not want to announce the state of the health emergency but here on MTV we want to address this specific issue to our audience and ask them to act responsibly and act as if there is a state of health emergency in Lebanon,” she said during a news broadcast. 
She called on people to be “responsible” and “stay in their homes as a type of quarantine.”
“The issue is really dangerous and from MTV we call on everyone to act as if there is a health emergency,” she added.
Social media users praised and thanked Awad for her intervention.
“It is very important to declare a state of emergency. The headline must remain as long (as possible), do not delete it, keep it permanently until the virus is contained. We congratulate you on this important step,”  Georges Ghorayeb said.
Meanwhile, Sarah Luna Makdissy thanked the channel and said “those who could care less about their health and wants to wander around and keep receiving planes from Iran, they are free to do so and endanger their lives but they are not free to infect others.”


Jordan reopens mosques for socially distanced prayers

Updated 5 min 20 sec ago

Jordan reopens mosques for socially distanced prayers

  • The kingdom is gradually easing restrictions imposed to curb the coronavirus outbreak

AMMAN: Mosques in Jordan opened for communal prayers for the first time in over two months on Friday, with thousands of police deployed to enforce strict social distancing rules at the usually packed places of worship.
The kingdom is gradually easing restrictions imposed to curb the coronavirus outbreak, which killed nine people in Jordan.
From Saturday, cafes and hotels can reopen and domestic flights will resume, although schools, universities and cinemas remain closed and most public gatherings are still banned.
Over 30,000 police were deployed to oversee crowds attending prayers at the country's 7,000 mosques on Friday, officials said.
Worshippers in the predominantly Muslim country were asked to wear masks, limit prayer time and perform the ablution rite, the act of washing the face, arms and legs before prayer, at home. In some mosques, the floor was marked to designate the spots where worshippers could lay down their prayer rugs at a safe distance from their neighbours.
Since a strict lockdown began in mid-March, the authorities have arrested several people, including clerics, for flouting the ban on prayers inside mosques.