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.”