Lebanon daily coronavirus cases spike

Lebanon on Sunday reported 166 coronavirus cases, its highest daily infection toll since the country’s outbreak began in February. (File/AFP)
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Updated 12 July 2020

Lebanon daily coronavirus cases spike

  • New cases have leapt since Friday, with over 300 registered in three days
  • The Lebanese Red Cross said on Twitter that its teams were transporting 131 company employees who had tested positive to a quarantine center

BEIRUT: Lebanon on Sunday reported 166 coronavirus cases, its highest daily infection toll since the country’s outbreak began in February.
The new figures announced by the health ministry bring the total number of infections to 2,334 including 36 deaths, according to figures carried by the state-run National News Agency (NNA).
New cases have leapt since Friday, with over 300 registered in three days, after daily numbers had appeared to be stabilising in recent weeks.
The Lebanese Red Cross said on Twitter that its teams were transporting 131 company employees who had tested positive to a quarantine center.
Health Minister Hamad Hassan said those cases were among the 166 announced Sunday, and that the figure represented a “peak.”
But he appeared to play down the spike, saying the latest infections were from a “known source” and telling local media that the chances of further transmissions existed but were “not big.”
Lebanon had started to gradually lift lockdown measures since the end of April and opened its airport to commercial flights at the start of this month, after a more than three-month closure.
In May, the government ordered a four-day return to lockdown after an uptick in new cases.
The pandemic arrived with Lebanon already mired in its worst-ever economic crisis, marked by an unprecedented plunge in the currency and with nearly half of the population in poverty.


Libya’s GNA govt detains 35 Egyptian fishermen

Updated 12 August 2020

Libya’s GNA govt detains 35 Egyptian fishermen

  • The GNA is still holding the fishermen without a clear accusation to justify their detention

CAIRO: The fate of at least 35 Egyptian fishermen hangs in the balance after they were arrested by the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) on Nov. 2 last year.  

The families of the fishermen have appealed to the Egyptian government to step up their efforts to secure their freedom as Cairo has been working on their release since November.

Little is known about the fate of the fishermen in Libya other than their location, after it was leaked to Egyptian authorities that they were held in the Turmina Prison, which is affiliated with the GNA.

The head of the Fishermen’s Syndicate in Kafr El-Sheikh, Ahmed Nassar, said they had not been able to communicate with the fishermen since last November and after their disappearance they came to learn that the GNA authorities had detained them.

The GNA is still holding the fishermen without a clear accusation to justify their detention. Nassar said that the fishermen were not fishing in Libyan territory without a permit.

Nassar explained that the fishermen were working on Libyan boats. Alongside them were a number of colleagues working on boats that belong to the Al-Wefaq government. They were not approached by anyone unlike their detained colleagues who were arrested and sent to prison without being charged with any crime.

The Fishermen’s Syndicate chief said that people had called on the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the government, and the consular section had also been contacted about the matter.

Many of the detained fishermen come from Kafr El-Sheikh, while others come from Abu Qir in the governorate of Alexandria.

The fishermen had been supporting families of up to eight members.

Egyptian authorities say they are exerting great efforts to bring the fishermen back safely, while the fishermen’s families continue to demand safety and justice for the men.