Lebanon impose strict measures in response to coronavirus outbreak


After announcing the first death yesterday morning at the RHUH, a second death has been recorded at the RHUH today, 55-year-old teacher Maroun Karam.

by Chiri Choukeir -Source: Annahar

Officials from Lebanon’s Health Ministry disinfect Lebanon’s Parliament in downtown Beirut (AFP)

BEIRUT: A number of Lebanese districts will be put under partial government-ordered lockdown as officials struggle to contain the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected 68 people and killed two.

With the coronavirus spreading like wildfire across the globe, Lebanese officials have scrambled to put a lid on the outbreak.

People are no longer allowed to assemble in public; movie theaters, gyms, computer cafes, restaurants and pubs will be closed; along with the Casino Du Liban and similar establishments.

Sports tournaments have been postponed and cultural events canceled.

Lebanon’s Shiite Muslim authorities have also suspended the Friday weekly prayers and all other gatherings in mosques of their denomination until further notice.

This decision will stay in effect until March 25. Schools and universities are also on lockdown until further notice.

Flights with Italy, Iran, South Korea and China will stop completely in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus, Prime Minister Hassan Diab said Wednesday. A scheduled flight from Iran carrying 150 people later tonight will be the last one welcomed, according to reports.

Lebanon had reduced, but not halted, the number of flights coming from Iran, along with other countries, and put in place additional screening measures on arrival for passengers coming from countries experiencing outbreaks.

Flights from countries with increasing numbers of cases such as France, Egypt, Iraq, U.K., Spain and Germany would be stopped, with Lebanese citizens having four days to return. After this deadline, Lebanese wishing to return will have to seek consular assistance.

Back to back deaths were at Rafic Hariri University Hospital, with the latest victim being 55-year-old teacher Maroun Karam.

Karam contracted the virus from one of his students who was traveling abroad. Given his weak immune system, Karam passed away earlier today after infecting both his wife and children, RHUH said.

The Ministry of Health announced that 11 percent of the cases are under the age of 20, 77 percent aged between 20 to 59 years old and 10 percent are above the age of 60.

Meanwhile, 37 percent of the cases are a direct offshoot of cases in Egypt, the United Kingdom, Iran and Switzerland.



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