Coronavirus: Lebanon reimposes lockdown amid COVID-19 spike

Coronavirus: Lebanon reimposes lockdown amid COVID-19 spike

Lebanese authorities on Tuesday announced a new lockdown and an overnight curfew to rein in a spike in coronavirus infections.

The new measures will come into effect on Friday and last just over two weeks, the interior ministry said, adding that they would not affect the clean-up and aid effort following the devastating August 4 Beirut port blast.

Lebanon’s health ministry registered a record 456 new infections on Monday, with two deaths, taking the cumulative number of cases to 9,337 since February, with 105 fatalities.

“We declare today a state of general alert and we need a brave decision to close (the country) for two weeks,” caretaker health minister Hamad Hassan told Voice of Lebanon radio.

Lebanon, already deep in financial crisis, was struggling with a COVID-19 spike before the August 4 blast that killed at least 178 people, wrecked swathes of the capital and pushed the government to resign.

The warehouse explosion damaged many hospitals and overwhelmed them with more than 6,000 wounded. It put about half of 55 medical centers across Beirut out of service, the World Health Organization (WHO) said last week.

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