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Lebanon Confirms 1.909 Coronavirus Cases, 16 Deaths

Lebanon Confirms 1.909 Coronavirus Cases, 16 Deaths
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By Staff, Agencies

Lebanon confirmed 1,909 new coronavirus cases and 16 deaths Thursday, as Health Minister Hamad Hasan announced that private hospitals will be increasing their capacity to treat coronavirus patients.

Of the new cases, only 25 were detected among incoming travelers from abroad. There have been a total of 868 deaths since the virus was first detected in February.

According to the Health Ministry, a total of 13,093 PCR tests were administered in the last 24 hours. The positivity rate of the tests in the last two weeks rose to 15.2 percent.

There are currently 327 people in a critical condition.

“Within weeks, 265 beds will be increased for coronavirus patients in private hospital,” Hasan said after a meeting with the Health Ministry’s scientific committee Thursday.

“The highest death rate due to coronavirus is among 60 year olds, while deaths among young people are exceptional cases,” Hasan was quoted as saying by local media.

Head of Rafik Hariri University Hospital Dr. Firass Abiad said that while it was too early to see positive results of lockdown, reports of at-home deaths were concerning.

“It is still early to see the effects of the lockdown, which is relatively working. The worrying news was the reported death of a patient at home, aged 60,” Abiad tweeted.

“That was the 5th reported death at home during the last few days, including a 51 yrs old patient. Circumstances are not clear, but hospitals are working at almost full capacity,” Abiad said. He added that a deal reached between private hospitals and the Health Ministry may help alleviate resource shortages at overwhelmed hospitals.

Lebanon’s cases topped 2,000 Wednesday. Daily cases have exceeded the 1,000 mark over the last month. Authorities implemented a total lockdown Saturday to try to stem an alarming surge of coronavirus cases in the country.

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