Lebanon Registers 42 Coronavirus Deaths, 1,505 Cases amid Warning
By Staff, Agencies
Lebanon registered 42 new coronavirus deaths and 1,505 more cases in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry said Monday, as the country's top COVID-19 expert warned of the possibility of a new wave of the virus.
The cases were detected among 10,183 tests, with only 19 cases found among travelers arriving at Beirut International Airport. The positivity rate throughout the last two weeks stood at 17.5 percent.
The total number of cases since the virus was first detected in the country on Feb. 21, 2020, has risen to 419,953, according to figures released by the Health Ministry. The total number of fatalities now stands at 5,422.
The statistics provided by the Health Ministry also show that 2,422 patients are currently hospitalized for COVID-19 and related complications, with 958 in ICUs and 289 requiring ventilators.
In a series of tweets, Dr. Firass Abiad, director of Rafik Hariri University Hospital, said that the significant increase in the number of cases confirms an “upward trend and impending wave.”
He also wrote of the country’s plans to further ease restrictions, especially in the education and commercial sectors, cautioning that “an increase in hospitalizations and deaths will follow.”
Lebanon is set to fully ease coronavirus restrictions on March 22, opening coffee shops, schools and restaurants as the last reopening stage goes into practice.
Lebanon received more than 36,000 more Pfizer vaccinations Saturday, bringing the accumulated number to just over 170,000 so far. Meanwhile, 92,000 AstraZeneca doses are expected to arrive to the country in the coming days, allowing for a wider pool of vaccinated people.