Coronavirus kills businessman uncle of Syria’s Assad

Coronavirus kills businessman uncle of Syria’s Assad
Syrian President Bashar Assad. (File/AFP)
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Updated 12 September 2020

Coronavirus kills businessman uncle of Syria’s Assad

Coronavirus kills businessman uncle of Syria’s Assad
  • Makhlouf, 88, the maternal uncle of Assad, was once seen as a pillar of the regime of Hafez Assad, the late father of the current president
  • Makhlouf, one of the most prominent Syrian businessmen during the 1970s and 1980s, was taken to hospital in the capital Damascus on August 23

DAMASCUS: Syrian businessman Mohamad Makhlouf, uncle of President Bashar Assad and father of top tycoon Rami Makhlouf, died on Saturday from Covid-19, two sources close to his family told AFP.
Makhlouf, 88, the maternal uncle of Assad, was once seen as a pillar of the regime of Hafez Assad, the late father of the current president.
His grandson, also called Mohamad Makhlouf, mourned his death in a message posted on Instagram.
Makhlouf, one of the most prominent Syrian businessmen during the 1970s and 1980s, was taken to hospital in the capital Damascus on August 23, local media reported.
His businesses had already long been handed over to his son Rami, who developed a commercial empire estimated at several billion dollars.
Rami Makhlouf was close to his cousin Assad, but earlier this year they fell out in a power struggle.
Since the start of the pandemic, Syria has officially recorded 3,476 cases of Covid-19, with 150 deaths registered in zones controlled by the Damascus government, according to health ministry figures.
The novel coronavirus has added to the woes of a nation ravaged by civil war since 2011.
More than 380,000 people have died in the conflict.


Lebanon inks final deal for 2.1 mln doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

Lebanon inks final deal for 2.1 mln doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine
Updated 44 min 28 sec ago

Lebanon inks final deal for 2.1 mln doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

Lebanon inks final deal for 2.1 mln doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine
  • The vaccines are expected to arrive in batches starting February
  • The ministry is also cooperating with the private sector to secure 2 million vaccine doses from Astrazenca and Sinopharm

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s caretaker health minister signed a final deal on Sunday to secure 2.1 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine as the country battles a steep rise in infections.
The vaccines are expected to arrive in batches starting February, the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry is also cooperating with the private sector to secure 2 million vaccine doses from Astrazenca and Sinopharm, it added.
Lebanon is under a three-week lockdown that ends on Feb. 1 and a strict 24-hour curfew until Jan. 25 after lax measures over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period led to a spike in cases.
In addition to these deals, Lebanon has also signed up for 2.7 million doses to be delivered through COVAX, the global scheme backed by the World Health Organization to provide vaccines to poorer countries.