Lebanon extends coronavirus lockdown for another two weeks

Image of a street in Beirut on March 17, after authorities implemented coronavirus lockdown. (File/AFP)
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Updated 22 May 2020

Lebanon extends coronavirus lockdown for another two weeks

  • Out if the new 63 cases, 27 were among repatriated nationals
  • Minister said still unclear when the international airport will reopen

DUBAI: Lebanon extended the “state of general mobilization” until June 7 after an increase in daily coronavirus cases, local newspaper The Daily Star Lebanon reported.

This is the fifth time the government has extended the lockdown, which originally started on March 15.

“The main reason for the increase of infections is the expat flights” bringing stranded nationals back, information minister Manal Abdel-Samad said.

The country registered the highest number of daily cases, at 63 on Thursday, after relaxing some lockdown measures and reopening restaurants and cafes. Out of the new infections, 27 were detected among repatriated Lebanese citizens.

Several of the newly confirmed cases were directly traced to returned nationals too, who tested positive days after arrival.

It is still unclear when the Rafik Hariri International Airport will reopen, Abdel-Samad said.

More flights repatriating nationals will arrive in the country from Doha, Paris, Casablanca, Lagos, London and Lusaka. Passengers from all trips, except from Lagos and Lusaka, will be tested for coronavirus once they arrive in Lebanon. Other Lebanese repatriates from the other two cities meanwhile will be tested ahead of their flights.

Lebanon’s current numbers are at 1,024 infected individuals, 663 recovered patients and 26 fatalities.

LIVE: Middle East returns to normal life amid strict COVID-19 measures 

Updated 3 min 57 sec ago

LIVE: Middle East returns to normal life amid strict COVID-19 measures 

DUBAI: Efforts to return life gradually back to some kind of normality in parts of the Middle East continue, as governments get ready to reopen borders and airlines take bookings for flights. 
Tunisia said it will open its sea, land and air borders on June 27 in the hope of rescuing its tourism industry as the coronavirus pandemic comes under control.
Emirates airline also announced that it was taking bookings for flights from Dubai to 12 Arab countries from the start of July. Emirates began operating scheduled flight services to nine destinations around the world from May 21, including London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Chicago, Toronto, Sydney and Melbourne.
Meanwhile, Lebanon’s commercial complexes, hotels, cafes and museums reopened their doors to customers on Monday after closing for two-and-a-half months. 

June 2, Tuesday (GMT Times)

10:24 - Kuwait has confirmed 887 coronavirus cases and the recovery of 50 percent of total infected people.

10:22 - UAE has recorded 596 coronavirus cases and 388 recoveries.

09:43 - New reported cases of coronavirus are steadily declining in Western Europe, but not in Russia and Eastern Europe: World Health Organization spokeswoman said.

09:34 - Formula One has unveiled an eight-race schedule in Europe from July 5 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

09:32 - Iran has reported 64 coronavirus deaths, 3,117 cases, raising total infected people to 157,562 with 7,942 fatalities.

09:20 - The number of coronavirus deaths in Britain is close to 50,000, Reuters reported.

09:07 – Hong Kong will extend restrictions on foreign visitors by another three months and an eight-person limit on group gatherings by two weeks, Health Secretary Sophia Chan said on Tuesday.
Both measures were due to expire later in June.
Travellers to Hong Kong need to undergo a mandatory 14 day quarantine period.

08:45 – 12,739 people died from coronavirus in England and Wales as of May 22, the Office for National Statistics said.

08:16 – Senegal has postponed the restart of schools until further notice after several teachers tested positive for the new coronavirus, the education ministry said late on Monday.

07:51 – Russia has confirmed 8,863 coronavirus cases and 182 deaths in the past 24 hours.

07:02 – A Wuhan doctor who worked with coronavirus whistleblower Li Wenliang died of the virus last week, state media reported Tuesday, becoming China's first COVID-19 fatality in weeks.
07:00 Paris gets some of its pre-lockdown life back as cafes and restaurants partially reopen Tuesday.
06:51 – The global coronavirus death toll has topped 375,000, according to AFP tally.

06:45 – The first Rohingya refugee died from coronavirus in Bangladesh, an official said.

05:59Egypt has sanitized prisons and carried out tests on prisoners across the country after banning visits to help curb the spread of coronavirus, local daily Egypt Today reported.

05:50 – A cluster of nine coronavirus cases raised concerns in Hong Kong over renewed local transmission in a city that has been one of the most successful in keeping the pandemic under control. 

05:18 – The United States on Monday recorded 743 new coronavirus deaths in 24 hours, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, bringing its total to 105,099 since the global pandemic began.