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Lebanon Reports 63 Coronavirus Deaths, 2,020 Cases

Lebanon Reports 63 Coronavirus Deaths, 2,020 Cases
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By Staff, Agencies

Lebanon registered 2,020 coronavirus cases and 63 further deaths in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry said as a leading physician in the fight against the pandemic said the total lockdown was successful in lowering the daily figures.

The cases were detected among 5,682 tests only, a Health Ministry report said, with most labs closed on Sundays. The positivity rate of the tests in the last two weeks stood at 22 percent.

Among the newly recorded cases, nine were detected among travelers arriving in Lebanon, according to the Health Ministry report, with the total number of cases since the virus was detected in the country in late February rising to 303,072, with 3,145 deaths.

The Health Ministry said 2,418 patients were in hospital for COVID-19, with 960 in ICUs and 336 on ventilators.

Dr. Firass Abiad, head of Rafik Hariri Hospital, warned Monday that although “a rapidly deteriorating situation has been stabilized” there was still evidence of high spread of the virus within communities, and hospitals remain at limited capacity.

Lebanon is in its third and final week of a total lockdown along with an all-day curfew, set to curb the unprecedented number of coronavirus cases and deaths.

Abiad urged the necessity of relaxing lockdown measures in a controlled manner, otherwise the country would risk undoing any gains made during lockdown.

While extending the total lockdown would be the ideal decision, Lebanon’s economic collapse and lack of assistance by the state to the poor classes make this option tricky, as bloody clashes also took place in Tripoli over living conditions and the current lockdown.

The country is set to receive its first shipment of the coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech in the upcoming two weeks. Front-line health care workers, the elderly and those with chronic illnesses will be first in line to receive the jabs.