Five members of Lebanese family dead from COVID-19

Five members of Lebanese family dead from COVID-19
Bakhaoun, Lebanon, has been shocked by the news that five members of the same family from the town have died from COVID-19 in the last six weeks. (File/AFP)
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Updated 20 November 2020

Five members of Lebanese family dead from COVID-19

Five members of Lebanese family dead from COVID-19
  • According to the Lebanese Ministry of Health, the highest number of deaths has occurred in the over-80 age group
  • There have been thousands of curfew violations in the country — with a total of 19,245 fines issued up to Friday

BEIRUT: Bakhaoun, Lebanon, has been shocked by the news that five members of the same family from the town have died from COVID-19 in the last six weeks.
Abed Al-Jaleel Al-Samad, his wife Aisha and their youngest son Fady, 52, who worked for the Lebanese State Security, died from the virus in mid-October, while Fady’s older brother Bassam died on Oct. 27, and their brother Shadi died in hospital on Friday. Their sister has been undergoing treatment in a Tripoli hospital for the last month.
Bakhaoun is one of the most populous towns in Lebanon’s Dannieh district, with 15,000 people in an area of eight square kilometers. Despite strict lockdown measures, there have been 50 cases of COVID-19 in the town, including 25 cases in the Al-Samad family alone.
Lebanon will enter its second week of a nationwide lockdown on Saturday. The measures are set to continue until the end of November in an attempt to lower the number of active cases, and reduce the strain on hospitals, which had reached capacity.
However, there have been thousands of curfew violations in the country — with a total of 19,245 fines issued up to Friday morning — and Thursday saw a record number of new confirmed cases of COVID-19 —  1,900, bringing the country’s total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 111,905, with 868 deaths.
According to the Lebanese Ministry of Health, the highest number of deaths has occurred in the over-80 age group (252 deaths). Fifty-five people aged between 40 and 49 have died, 17 between 30 and 39, and eight between 20 and 29.
The caretaker government’s Minister of Health Hamad Hassan said “The ministry’s available operational data and statistics do not indicate tangible improvement in reducing the number of cases” and called on the Lebanese people to be patient and commit to following protective measures.
He also said the Ministry of Health had finalized an agreement with private hospitals to receive COVID-19 patients which will see those hospitals reimbursed for treatment given.
The President of the Syndicate of Private Hospitals, Suleiman Haroun, confirmed in a statement that private hospitals will gradually start receiving patients “after the compromise reached with the Health Ministry which covers their expenses, since treating coronavirus patients is very costly compared to other patients.”
Lebanon’s fight against the coronavirus coincides with a severe economic crisis, the alleviation of which depends on implementing reforms requested by the international community and the resumption of talks with the International Monetary Fund.
On Friday, caretaker Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni was informed by Alvarez & Marsal that the consultancy has decided to void the contract it signed with the Finance Ministry for a forensic audit of Lebanon’s Central Bank.
The consultancy agreed a week ago to extend the contract for three months, to give the bank time to provide the necessary information. But the bank has claimed that it cannot do so because of “bank secrecy laws.”
Alvarez & Marsal said its decision was taken because it is not certain it will be allowed access to the necessary information “even if (the bank is) given three additional months to deliver the documents required.”


Iran plans to install more advanced atomic centrifuges underground: IAEA

The UN's International Atomic Energy Agency said on December 2, 2020 Iran had begun operating advanced centrifuges at an underground section of its primary nuclear enrichment facility at Natanz. (AFP/File Photo)
Updated 47 min 37 sec ago

Iran plans to install more advanced atomic centrifuges underground: IAEA

The UN's International Atomic Energy Agency said on December 2, 2020 Iran had begun operating advanced centrifuges at an underground section of its primary nuclear enrichment facility at Natanz. (AFP/File Photo)
  • Iran’s nuclear deal with major powers says Tehran can only use first-generation IR-1 centrifuges, which are less efficient

VIENNA: Iran has told the UN nuclear watchdog it plans to install three more cascades, or clusters, of advanced IR-2m centrifuges at its underground uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, the agency told member states on Friday in a report obtained by Reuters.

“Iran informed the Agency that the operator of the Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) at Natanz ‘intends to start installation of three cascades of IR-2m centrifuge machines’ at FEP,” the agency wrote, adding that the three cascades were in addition to one of IR-2m machines already used for enrichment there.

Iran’s nuclear deal with major powers says Tehran can only use first-generation IR-1 centrifuges, which are less efficient, at the underground plant and that those are the only machines Iran can accumulate enriched uranium with.