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Lebanon COVID-19 Death Toll Nears 1k
By Staff, Agencies
Lebanon's coronavirus death toll neared 1,000 Friday, as the country registered six new deaths and 1,782 new cases with Health Minister Hamad Hasan announcing that the full lockdown would end Monday.
Lebanon confirmed 90 deaths due to coronavirus complications in the last five days, bringing the death toll to 980.
Of Friday's new cases, 17 were among travelers from abroad.
“Despite no positive results, the country will be opened up Monday," local media LBCI quoted Hasan as saying. "I was expecting a more positive result [from the lockdown] to build on,” Hasan said.
According to the Health Ministry, a total of 11,429 PCR tests had been administered in the last 24 hours. The positivity rate of the tests in the last two weeks stood unbudging at 15 percent.
Head of Rafik Hariri University Hospital Dr. Firass Abiad said in a tweet earlier Friday that “extending the lockdown close to the holiday season without any support [to the business sectors] will be devastating.”
An extension of the lockdown would mean that restaurants, cafes and businesses across the country would continue keeping their doors closed, forfeiting revenue during the worst economic crisis Lebanon has witnessed in decades. On the other hand, the number of daily coronavirus cases haves consistently surpassed 1,000 over the last month and death rates have reached record numbers, overwhelming an already fragile health sector.
The government has provided minimal financial aid to families struggling under lockdown measures and a deteriorating economy.
The Health Ministry reported that the total number of people infected from coronavirus since it was first detected in late February has now reached 123,941.
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