For three full weeks, Lebanon will be implementing a lockdown. This decision is due to the rise of the number of COVID-19 cases that might threaten the local hospitals in the country that are already facing financial difficulties.
According to the Caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hasan, the lockdown will start on Feb.1, Thursday. They will also announce the sectors that will be exempted from this lockdown. It is said that the lockdown will take place from 6 in the evening until 5 in the morning.
“It has become clear that the pandemic challenge has reached a stage that is seriously threatening Lebanese lives as hospitals are not capable of providing beds,” says Hasan to reporters after their meeting with the ministerial committee on COVID-19.
On Sunday, Lebanon reported 2,870 new infections, raising the total to 189,278 cases in total and 1,486 deaths. The country is also experiencing soaring poverty, inflation, and unemployment bringing to light a new lockdown.
Due to the pandemic, Lebanon is facing an alarming financial crisis resulting in a crash in their currency, banks have been paralyzed, and scarcity of medical supplies is experienced.
The intensive care units of hospitals are also experiencing an overwhelming number of patients reaching a critical capacity as the virus continues to spread.
During the holidays, people ignored the preventive measures and the social distancing protocols resulting in a rise of cases.
“It has become clear that the pandemic challenge has reached a stage that is seriously threatening Lebanese lives as hospitals are not capable of providing beds,” says the head of critical care units in Rafik Hariri Hospital, Mahmoud Hassoun. “We are nearly full now and we haven’t even seen the effect of the holiday period yet.”