The country’s anti-coronavirus follow-up committee on Wednesday recommended a two-week extension of the full lockdown that began on January 14, TV networks said.
The Higher Defense Council, which will convene Thursday at the Baabda Palace, is likely to endorse the committee’s recommendation, the reports said.
Lebanon meanwhile reported 64 new coronavirus deaths, its highest-ever daily death toll. It had recorded 61 deaths on Tuesday and 57 on Monday. The new fatalities raise the overall death toll to 2,084 while 4,332 new cases registered on Wednesday take the tally to 264,647 including 157,202 recoveries.
The head of Lebanon’s main coronavirus hospital on Tuesday backed the extension of the total lockdown to curb soaring infections and save a fragile healthcare system from collapse.
“Easing the lockdown cannot occur if the virus is spreading unchecked in the community,” Firass Abiad, the Manager and CEO of the state-run Rafik Hariri University Hospital, said on social media.
“The infection is not under control.”
The country of more than six million entered a strict 11-day lockdown last Thursday after recording a 70 percent uptick in infections in one of the steepest increases in transmission worldwide.
The lockdown includes a round-the-clock curfew.
Infections had skyrocketed after authorities loosened restrictions during the holiday season, allowing restaurants and nightclubs to open late, despite warnings from health professionals.
Hospitals have struggled to cope with the influx of new patients, with some treating cases in cars, paediatrics units and even dining halls.
The World Health Organization said Monday that the occupancy rate for intensive care beds in hospitals across Lebanon stood at 87.4 percent, down from 90.4 percent last week.
Suleiman Haroun, head of the Syndicate of Private Hospitals, said a lockdown extension was necessary.
“Medical cadres are worn out and I am alarmed over the large number of cases arriving in hospitals every day,” he told AFP.