Lebanon reinstates lockdown measures after virus rebound

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 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.


Gaza imposes tighter virus restrictions, extends curfew

Updated 33 min 17 sec ago

Gaza imposes tighter virus restrictions, extends curfew

Gaza imposes tighter virus restrictions, extends curfew
  • Mosques, schools, universities and kindergartens will be closed from Saturday in the Gaza Strip, excluding high schools and nurseries
  • Medical and political sources warned last week of a spike in Covid-19 cases in the Gaza Strip

GAZA CITY: New measures to counter the spread of the novel coronavirus in the Gaza Strip were announced on Thursday by the interior ministry of Hamas, which rules the Palestinian enclave.
Mosques, schools, universities and kindergartens will be closed from Saturday in the Gaza Strip, excluding high schools and nurseries, the interior ministry said in a statement.
A night-time curfew was also set to start from Saturday, lasting from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 am, while a full lockdown will be imposed on Fridays and Saturdays from December 11 through to the end of the month.
Shops and other premises must close by 6:00 p.m. and people must be home by 6:30 pm, compared to 8:00 p.m. under the previous curfew rules.
Medical and political sources warned last week of a spike in Covid-19 cases in the Gaza Strip, saying the situation was “out of control.”
The enclave, a small, densely populated territory with two million inhabitants under an Israeli blockade, closed its borders early in the pandemic and only allowed a limited number of people to enter, requiring them to isolate for three weeks in quarantine centers.
Up until mid-August, authorities in Gaza had only recorded around 100 Covid-19 cases.
But in the past two weeks, containment of the virus has deteriorated in Gaza, with hundreds of new infections announced per day, resulting in a total of 23,023 cases and 122 deaths.
Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar is among those who have recently been infected by the virus, the movement said Tuesday.