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Lebanon imposes partial lockdown due to increase in Covid-19 cases

Lebanon imposes a partial lockdown and night curfew for two weeks following a surge in Covid-19 cases in a country still reeling from the port explosion.

Lebanon imposes partial lockdown due to increase in Covid-19 cases
ALKIS KONSTANTINIDIS REUTERS

Lebanon's interim administration has decided to impose a two-week partial lockdown following a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases in the country. A day after the devastating blast that tore through the port of Beirut on August 4 Lebanon's Covid-19 caseload was 5,417. Since then the overall figure has risen to almost 11,000 cases as of Friday.

The Lebanese health minister announced on Thursday 605 new cases had been reported in the previous 24-hour period, taking the case tally in the country up to 10,952, while there have been 113 virus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Many businesses were closed Friday morning in Beirut even though some sectors, including banks, groceries, book shops, and pharmacies were allowed to open. Restaurants, night clubs, beaches and clothes shops are among the businesses ordered to close by the Interior Ministry.

Lebanon facing struggle as hospitals are overwhelmed 

Although the country was successfully containing the spread of the novel coronavirus during the early months of the pandemic, Covid-19 cases in Lebanon have been surging since the beginning of July, as lockdown restrictions were lifted and the country's airport re-opened and international flights resumed.

Following the port explosion on 4 August, medical authorities warned about the increased potential for individuals to contract the virus due to congested hospitals and gatherings at funerals.

Some Lebanese also expressed their anger by holding demonstrations and protests, as they believe the explosion that killed more than 177 people and injured thousands was the result of negligence.