BEIRUT: Former Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil has been infected with the coronavirus, he said on Sunday, as cases surge throughout the country.
Bassil, the son-in-law of Lebanese President Michel Aoun and leader of the country’s largest Christian political bloc, said he had tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Saturday.
The party said he had a mild case of the disease and had made it public as a “message to everyone who has had contact with him recently.” He would quarantine himself until he overcame the virus, it said.
“Bassil wanted to issue this statement to inform all those he was recently in contact with, as they could not all be contacted individually, and to apologize for not knowing in advance about the matter,” the political party said in the statement.
The statement did not specify when Bassil last met with the 85-year-old Aoun.
Lebanon’s leading politicians have been meeting frequently in recent weeks amid efforts to form a new government.
The country has seen a spike in coronavirus infections following a devastating Aug. 4 port blast. On Saturday, the country registered a record 1,280 new daily infections. The virus has killed at least 340 people.
Bassil is widely unpopular among Lebanon’s street protesters, many of whom made sarcastic comments on social media.
“Corona announces that it has been infected with the Gebran Bassil virus,” one wrote.
He is the third Lebanese politician to be infected, after former minister Mohammed Safadi and current caretaker Foreign Minister Charbel Wehbe.