Caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hasan Monday called for a total lockdown of four weeks with strict measures as the country is facing a dangerous surge in coronavirus cases.
“The partial lockdowns did not yield the desired results, and there are developments in terms of the number infections that are dangerous and we can’t handle, and we are calling for a general lockdown in the country for a duration of four weeks with strict measures,” Hasan told Al-Manar TV channel.
Hasan said Lebanon has entered a new phase with the pandemic which requires a different approach than previous phases.
He warned that the number of coronavirus cases have reached a dangerous level that hospitals can’t bear, with the number of hospital beds barely keeping up with the influx of COVID-19 patients.
Hasan added that any shortcomings in securing hospital beds will have consequences such as an increase in the number of deaths, noting that many recent deaths have been among young people.
“Registering 1,500 or 1,700 daily infections means that we should multiply by five, meaning that we have 10,000 cases per day,” Hasan said, explaining that there are many people who are asymptomatic.
Meanwhile the Lebanese Industrialists Association issued a statement warning against a total lockdown.
The association said that while they consider the health of citizens a high priority, a total lockdown will have serious consequences that cannot be ignored.
The statement added that factories will comply with any new preventive measures that could be introduced.
The association called on authorities to “study the issue from all angles and take the decision that protects the Lebanese on the one hand and is the least costly one for them and their economy on the second hand.”
Lebanon has been experiencing a dangerous spike in coronavirus cases, with health experts and officials warning that with the flu season looming the health situation could become catastrophic in the crisis-stricken country.
In a bid to curb the rising number of cases the Interior Ministry Sunday imposed new curfew hours between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. and ordered 115 towns and villages to go under lockdown, part of the localized lockdown strategy Hasan criticized.
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