Caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hassan announced Tuesday that authorities will not shut down Beirut’s airport or lock down the country after the holidays despite an expected spike in coronavirus cases.
“As for the debate over the issue of shutting down the country and the airport after the holidays, we say that as a result of the previous experiences, we have reached a conclusion that it is necessary to rein in pandemic outbreaks in areas where there exist specific numbers of infections,” Hassan said after talks with caretaker PM Hassan Diab.
“We would then track, address or lock down those areas, in addition to enforcing mask-wearing and the implementation of strict measures by security forces,” he added.
As for the issue of the new coronavirus mutations that have been discovered in several countries, the minister said new virus variations “have spread in more than 12 nations across the world and the measures that are being implemented are the same with Covid-19.”
“What is being said about the shutdown of the airport is out of the question. What should be endorsed is the implementation of the Health Ministry’s measures regarding arriving travelers and residents,” he added, while admitting that “Lebanon will clearly record a surge in infections after January 10.”