Streets across Lebanon have been considerably empty in the second day of the total shutdown aimed at stemming a dangerous surge in coronavirus infections and deaths.
Local media reported that a high percent of citizens have been complying with an all-day curfew, with Internal Security Forces and Lebanese Army implementing the strictest measures Lebanon has taken since the start of the pandemic.
Talking to Al-Nour Radio on Friday, member of parliamentary health committee MP Ali Al-Mokdad warned that all PCR tests conducted in two major laboratories recorded genetic mutation of the virus.
“50 percent of PCR tests conducted in the last few days showed a new variant of coronavirus that spreads more rapidly and is more dangerous,” the Lebanese lawmaker added.
For his part, head of the government’s emergency health committee, Dr. Abdul-Rahman Bizri said that the first shipment of vaccines is expected to arrive in February.
“2,100,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will arrive in Lebanon on four phases,” Al-Bizri said, noting that the first shipment will include 250,000 doses and will arrive between 7 and 14 February.
Many hospitals have now reached maximum capacity with some coronavirus patients have been running out of beds, oxygen tanks and ventilators.
Last week, Lebanon imposed a 25-day nationwide lockdown and a nighttime curfew to limit the spread of the virus. However, as hospitals are on the brink of collapse, the government then ordered an 11-day nationwide curfew starting Thursday.
On Thursday, Lebanon registered a new daily record of both infections and deaths. 41 fatalities were recorded, with nearly 5,200 new cases. The latest figures brought the overall number of recorded cases to nearly 237,200 and 1,781 deaths, according to the Health Ministry.
Source: Al-Manar English Website and Associated Press