Lebanon Smashes Daily Record with 5,440 COVID-19 Cases, 17 Deaths
By Staff, Agencies
A new record for daily coronavirus infection numbers was set in Lebanon Friday, as 5,440 new cases were registered in addition to 17 further deaths as health experts warned that the worst is still to come.
Among the newly recorded cases, 17 were detected among incoming travelers, according to the Health Ministry report, bringing the total number of cases since the virus was first detected in late February to 210,139. The total number of deaths now stands at 1,570.
A total of a 28,688 PCR tests have been administered in the last 24 hours. The positivity rate of the tests in the last two weeks stood at 15.1 percent.
The Health Ministry said 1,386 were in hospital for COVID-19, with 525 in ICUs and 175 on ventilators.
This is the fourth consecutive record-breaking day for Lebanon, with 4,774 infections reported Thursday. Around 10,000 cases were recorded in just two days.
Health experts warn that new records will be set everyday as the true impact of the holidays season will be witnessed during which authorities had eased up measures.
Most hospitals have reached their coronavirus patient intake capacity or are nearing their maximum capacity. ICU beds and ventilators have become scarce as people scramble to find space for their loved ones to be treated.
Head of the Rafik Hariri University Hospital Dr. Firass Abiad, who has been a leading voice in the country’s fight against the virus warned that even if hospitals increased their bed capacity, they would not be able to keep up with the surge in cases.
“A tougher approach is now required. If we wait for hospital beds to be full, it will be too late. Judging by the noticeable laxity on the street, things are not going well,” he tweeted.
Lebanon Thursday entered its fifth lockdown since the pandemic began. It is set to last until Feb. 1.
The Internal Security Forces said they had issued 1,727 fines for lockdown violators between Thursday and Friday morning.