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Lebanese Health Minister Hasan Hospitalized with COVID-19
By Staff, Agencies
Lebanon's caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hasan was hospitalized Wednesday after testing positive for COVID-19, the St. George Hospital said.
The hospital said in a statement the minister was in "a good condition." It gave no other details.
Earlier in the day, the state-run National News Agency reported that Hasan was in self-isolation after coming into contact with three employees from his office who got infected with the virus.
Hasan becomes the sixth ministers from the current caretaker government to be infected by COVID-19 so far. All five other ministers had made full recoveries.
Hasan's COVID-19 infection comes as the country faces and unprecedented surge in daily cases, setting new records for many consecutive days in the past two weeks.
He has been holding and attending meetings with top and senior officials in recent days to discuss the pandemic and health crisis, including President Michel Aoun and caretaker Hassan Diab.
Aoun's office said the president underwent "routine medical" checks at a Beirut hospital Wednesday afternoon before returning to Baabda Palace in the evening.
Many hospitals around the country have already reached maximum capacity for coronavirus patient intake and have run out of mechanical ventilators and oxygen tanks.
The country will go under a stringent total lockdown Thursday that is set to last until Jan. 25, with an all-day curfew in place, to try and relieve the health care sector. However, numerous health experts and doctors say the recommended period for a lockdown to curb this type of dangerous spread is at least three weeks.
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