A view of an empty freeway, as Lebanon is about to increase a national lockdown by two weeks to fight the unfold of coronavirus illness (COVID-19) in Beirut, Lebanon March 26, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir
BEIRUT (1) - Lebanon is extending a lockdown by two weeks till April 12 to fight the unfold of the coronavirus, its info minister mentioned on Thursday, whereas introducing strict new steps that appeared to quantity to an in a single day curfew in all however title.
Below the lockdown, declared below a state of medical emergency on March 15, folks can solely go away their houses to purchase meals and drugs and all non-essential companies have been closed, together with Beirut airport.
“We're nonetheless in a really harmful stage for the unfold of the corona epidemic and due to this fact it's needed to increase the deadline,” Data Minister Manal Abdel Samad mentioned, citing remarks from Prime Minister Hassan Diab after a cupboard assembly.
Lebanon on Thursday tightened measures additional, ordering the closure of supermarkets and meals producers between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. and permitting solely the operation of pharmacies, producers of medical provides, mills, and bakeries throughout this time.
Diab’s workplace mentioned in a press release outlining the steps that Lebanese could be banned from going out throughout these hours, and the restrictions could be enforced by the navy and safety forces.
Lebanon, already hard-hit by a crippling monetary disaster, has not declared a state of emergency or a proper curfew, which might require parliamentary approval.
The highly effective paramilitary group Hezbollah, which has some posts in authorities, mentioned on Wednesday it was mobilising 25,000 folks together with medics and readying hospitals to bolster the state’s response to the virus.
Lebanon mentioned on Thursday it had recorded 368 instances of coronavirus and 6 deaths.
Reporting by Tom Perry and Eric Knecht; Enhancing by Mark Heinrich