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Lebanon all set to impose an 11-day curfew as the country’s coronavirus cases rise

Lebanon, the country which did not have a very good 2020 is stuck again in a crisis. As the virus wreaks havoc on the country, the government has announced to impose an 11-day curfew. Hospitals in Lebanon have been continuously struggling to control the spread of the virus.

The Lebanese citizens will be forbidden from leaving their houses from 5:00 (3:00 GMT) on Thursday with few exemptions. People will not be allowed to do shopping in supermarkets and will need to rely on deliveries. Only airports will remain open but there will be a cut in passengers.

Land and sea borders will also be closed to all travellers unless they have a valid transit visa, and passengers flying in from Baghdad, Istanbul, Adana, Cairo and Addis Ababa will need to quarantine in a hotel for seven days and undergo two coronavirus tests.

Despite a rise in the number of new cases, the government had relaxed restrictions ahead of Christmas and New Year, hoping to sustain the country’s disintegrating economy. Bars and nightclubs were allowed to open for the first time in months.

As an aftermath of the ease of restrictions, the country saw a spike in Covid-19 cases. In the past week alone, 30,250 people have been tested positive and 117 have died.

“We have seen dreadful scenes of citizens waiting in front of hospitals for a chair or a bed. Radical measures must be taken so that we can mitigate the catastrophic consequences of the coronavirus outbreak”, President Michel Aoun said at a meeting of the Supreme Defence Council on Monday afternoon.

Lebanon is already fighting the economic collapse that has seen a massive number of people losing their jobs. The local currency has also lost 80% of its value against the US dollar making it difficult for the country to import coronavirus vaccines.

The middle east country has secured enough doses for 15% of its population and plans to cover another 20% through the World Health Organization-backed global Covax scheme. It is expecting its first consignment of Pfizer and BioNtech vaccines in mid-February.