Lebanon reinstates lockdown measures after virus rebound

People walk as they wear face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Beirut, Lebanon July 28, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 29 July 2020

Lebanon reinstates lockdown measures after virus rebound

  • Lebanon has recorded a total of 3,879 cases of COVID-19, including 51 deaths

BEIRUT: The Lebanese government agreed on Tuesday to reinforce coronavirus lockdown measures after a spike in new cases threatened to overwhelm the crisis-hit country’s health care system.

Lebanon, a country of some 6 million people, has recorded a total of 3,879 cases of COVID-19, including 51 deaths.

Activists on social media shared a video of a Lebanese man in his car arguing with security forces after being fined for failing to wear a face mask.

Authorities decided to shut down the country again following an alarming increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. Ministers on Tuesday were tested for the virus before taking part in ministerial session at the Presidential Palace.

President Michel Aoun called for “stricter application” of the lockdown order to limit the “negative repercussions on citizens and residents,” criticizing “people’s disregard for the preventive measures.”

Minister of Health Hamad Hassan said: “People are not abiding by the preventive measures, and people traveling to Lebanon are not respecting the isolation period.”

From Thursday, the country will shut down for five days with another five-day lockdown next week.

Bars, pubs, night clubs, malls, pools, gyms, churches, mosques and game centers will be closed, and all sports competitions, events and religious gatherings will be canceled. People over 65 will be told to stay at home and avoid social activity.

Security forces have arrested two Syrians who allegedly forged PCR tests showing a negative result for sale to Syrians wishing travel to their homeland.

Meanwhile, Iran reported 235 new deaths, a record toll for a single day in the Middle East’s hardest-hit country.

“We have lost 235 of our compatriots due to COVID-19 in the past 24 hours,” taking the overall toll to 16,147, said a health official.

Arab nations send food, medical supplies to disaster-hit Lebanon

Updated 17 min 13 sec ago

Arab nations send food, medical supplies to disaster-hit Lebanon

  • Saudi Arabia at the forefront of an international relief air bridge for Lebanon

DUBAI: Arab nations are rushing to provide humanitarian relief to disaster-hit Lebanon, delivering planeloads of food and medical supplies to aid those affected by the massive explosion that rocked Beirut on Tuesday.

The devastating blast, thought to be caused by a stockpile of ammonium nitrate unsafely stored in a port warehouse, left a trail of damage over much of the capital and killed more than 150 people and injured thousands of others.

A UAE transport plane carrying 40 metric tons of critical medicine and food items, as well as nutritional supplements for children, arrived in the Lebanese capital as part of the assistance being implemented by the Emirates Red Crescent.

“A comprehensive phased humanitarian plan has been put in place in response to the crisis, and during this stage the focus is laid on providing medical supplies in support of the Lebanese health facilities under the current tough circumstances to help them respond to the needs of the large number of victims,” Dr Mohammed Atiq Al-Falahi, the ERC Secretary General, said in a report from state news agency WAM.

Saudi Arabia is at the forefront of an international relief air bridge, with about 200 tons of medical and emergency supplies so far delivered by the three aircraft dispatched to Lebanon.

Egypt has dispatched a second military plane to Lebanon, loaded with large quantities of medical supplies and food.

Two aircraft from Kuwait laden with medical supplies and food have arrived at Beirut’s international airport as part of the ongoing aid efforts to help Lebanon.

“We have just received two Kuwaiti planes carrying emergency aid,” on instructions of the Kuwait leadership, embassy advisor Abdullah Al-Shaheen said, and added that support will continue “in this time of adversity.”