Bahrain eases coronavirus restrictions, shops, industries to open

General view of Bahrain Financial Harbour is seen during early evening hours in Manama, Bahrain, May 2, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 06 May 2020

Bahrain eases coronavirus restrictions, shops, industries to open

  • Bahrain shuttered non-essential shops and businesses in late March and barred entry of foreign visitors

DUBAI: Shops and industrial enterprises in Bahrain can open from Thursday while restaurants will stay closed to in-house diners, the Health Ministry said, as the Gulf state eases restrictions designed to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.
Bahrain shuttered non-essential shops and businesses in late March and barred entry of foreign visitors, but did not impose a curfew, unlike some other Gulf states.
Health Ministry officials told a news conference on Wednesday that employees and customers must wear face masks and practice physical distancing. Cinemas, sports facilities and salons remain closed.
Bahrain has reported 3,720 infections with eight deaths from the virus. The total count in the six Gulf Arab states exceeds 76,000 with 421 deaths.
Other Gulf countries eased curfews and other social and business restrictions with the start of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan two weeks ago.
Bahrain this week opened a 152-bed COVID-19 field hospital intensive care unit on an empty piece of land in Sitra, as part of a plan to create 500 additional ICU beds for critical cases.


Lebanon’s foreign minister resigns amid economic crisis

Updated 03 August 2020

Lebanon’s foreign minister resigns amid economic crisis

  • Nassif Hitti submits resignation to the prime minister and leaves government house without making any comments
  • Hitti’s resignation is a blow to Hassan Diab’s government

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s foreign minister resigned on Monday, becoming the first Cabinet minister to defect from his post amid the severe economic and financial crisis striking the country.
Minister Nassif Hitti’s submitted his resignation to the prime minister and left the government house without making any comments.
A career diplomat, Hitti became foreign minister in January as part of Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government. He was was reportedly unhappy with the government’s performance and lack of movement on promised reforms.
Local media reports said he also was angered by Diab’s criticism of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian following his visit to Beirut last month. Diab had said Le Drian “did not bring anything new” and was not properly informed about the reforms implemented by the Lebanese government.
It was not immediately clear whether his resignation would be accepted and whether one of the other ministers would assume his responsibilities in caretaker capacity until a new minister is appointed.
Hitti’s resignation is a blow to Diab’s government, which has struggled to implement reforms amid an unprecedented financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.