Lebanon’s Coronavirus Cases Up, Lockdown Ruled Out
By Staff, Agencies
Lebanon recorded 1,558 COVID-19 cases and four deaths in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry reported Tuesday, as an official ruled out an imminent return to lockdowns despite a rise in cases due to the Delta variant.
The new numbers bring the total to 573,959 cases and 7,952 deaths since the virus was first detected in Lebanon in February 2020. Out of the latest figures, 45 were among travelers arriving in Lebanon.
A total of 25,117 tests were administered in the last 24 hours, resulting in an average two-week positivity rate of 7.2 percent.
The report also detailed that 395 people were in hospital with the virus, including 165 patients in intensive care and 29 on ventilators.
A total of 4,769 first-dose vaccine jabs were administered, as well as 4,540 second-dose jabs, resulting in a total of 1,015,214 individuals or 21.3 percent of the eligible population now fully vaccinated in Lebanon since the rollout began six months ago.
Meanwhile, head of the parliamentary health committee, MP Assem Araji, said that there were no imminent plans to call for a lockdown despite the rise in number of coronavirus cases which remain well below the peaks of January and February.
"We don't fear coronavirus, but [we fear] the inability of the health sector to confront it due to the lack of medicines, medical equipment, the collapse of the Lebanese pound and the migration of doctors and nurses," Araji said.
Lebanon is in the throes of one of the world's worst economic crises that has caused severe shortages of medicines, fuel and power supplies as well as the collapse of the national currency that has lost 90 percent of its value and pushed 55 percent of the population below the poverty line.