Lebanon Records Its Highest Virus Death Toll

A nurse in protective clothing holds coronavirus testing material, at a center in the Rafik Hariri University Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Lebanon's caretaker prime minister said Monday the country has entered a "very critical zone" in the battle against coronavirus as his government mulls tightening nationwide lockdown announced last week. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

Lebanon on Monday reported 53 new coronavirus deaths, a new record high daily death toll for the small country.

It also registered 3,144 new virus cases in a 24-period, the Health Ministry said.

The new fatalities raise the overall death toll to 1,959.

The fresh cases meanwhile take the country’s overall tally since February 21 to 255,956 cases — among them 3,657 cases detected among arriving travelers and 154,611 recoveries.

Lebanon, a country of more than 6 million, including at least 1 million refugees, has seen a massive climb in infections since Christmas and New Year holidays. The surge has overwhelmed hospitals and the health care system.

During the holiday season, restrictions in place for months to combat the virus were eased to encourage spending by some 80,000 expatriates who returned home to celebrate.

As infections increased and ICU beds filled up, authorities imposed the strictest lockdown yet starting last Thursday, hoping that restrictions in place until February 1 could help contain the rise.

In recent weeks, between 4,000 and 5,000 infections were recorded a day and a rise in daily death tolls, up from numbers that hovered around 1,000 since November.



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