Lebanon Records 1,240 Coronavirus Cases, Jump in Deaths
By Staff, Agencies
Lebanon reported 1,240 new coronavirus cases and five deaths in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry said Tuesday, signaling a jump in the number of casualties for the first time since early June.
The new numbers add to a total of 564,364 cases and 7,917 deaths since the virus first arrived in Lebanon in February last year. Out of Tuesday's cases, 73 were imported from travelers arriving into Lebanon.
Over the last 24 hours, 24,985 tests were conducted resulting in a two week average positivity rate of 6 percent. The number of people hospitalized with the virus increased by 16 since Monday, with 318 patients reported to be in hospital, including 115 in intensive care and 19 on ventilators.
The Health Ministry report also detailed that 11,950 first-stage coronavirus vaccines were administered, bringing the total number to 1,22,16,67 doses. A further 18,623 second-doses were handed out, with 18,623 individuals or 19.7 percent of the population eligible now fully vaccinated in Lebanon since the rollout began six months ago.
Lebanon's leading voice in the country's battle against coronavirus warned Tuesday that the number of coronavirus patients at his hospital had recently surged. "Worryingly, the number of requests for transfer of COVID patients to RHUH is rising sharply. Clearly, many hospitals have not, or only partially, reopened their COVID units. It is important to know the current bed capacity, and measures to increase it should be taken" Dr Firass Abiad, head of Rafik Hariri University Hospital wrote on Twitter.
Abiad revealed that data from RHUH showed that a large portion of new positive cases were among unvaccinated people in Lebanon:
"Recent data collected from our labs show that 80 percent of positive PCR tests were in unvaccinated, 9 percent in partially vaccinated, and 11 percent in fully vaccinate patients. More importantly, the vast majority of patients admitted were unvaccinated."
Lebanon has been witnessing an alarmingly increase in the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus over the last month as few safety measures are in place and much of the population has resumed daily activities.
More so, the higher number of deaths reported Tuesday will spark further concern for the health sector and public as for weeks daily casualties lingered between one or two, which was attributed to the high vaccination rate among the elderly and those vulnerable to the virus.