The Higher Defense Council on Wednesday extended the general mobilization measures until the end of the year, after a notable increase in coronavirus cases and deaths.
“We are passing through a delicate stage regarding the confrontation with coronavirus. The number of cases are rising in a way that suggests we could lose control of the epidemic if it continues to rise,” said caretaker PM Hassan Diab at the beginning of the meeting.
On Tuesday, Lebanon announced twelve COVID-19 deaths, the highest daily toll so far for the small country since the first infection was detected on February 21.
Diab said many people tend to “challenge the lockdown measures which helps raise the virus cases. We might lose the ability to confront coronavirus if this keeps happening. I see a need to renew the general mobilization measures until the end of this year,” added Diab.
The Health Ministry said 532 virus cases were confirmed Tuesday raising the overall tally to 13,687 while the fatalities take the death toll to 138.
The country has meanwhile recorded 3,815 recoveries.
On the extension of the UNIFIL mandate, Diab said: “Atmospheres are positive regarding extension of the UNIFIL term, and the Security Council is likely to approve that on Friday. Extending the UNIFIL term without modifying its tasks is in the interest of world countries.”
Caretaker foreign minister Charbel Wehbe had separately received the ambassadors of the UN Security Council five permanent members ahead of Friday’s vote, the National News Agency said.
He handed them a memorandum stressing that “Lebanon is attached to renewing (the mission of) UNIFIL, without modifying its mandate or its numbers”, it added.