Lebanon to impose four-day nationwide lockdown following spike in coronavirus infections

Lebanon to impose four-day nationwide lockdown following spike in coronavirus infections
2 min read
12 May, 2020
The Lebanese government announced an ambiguous four-day shutdown after coronavirus infections increased following the re-opening of businesses.
A man skateboards on an empty road in Lebanon after coronavirus measures were eased. [AFP]
Lebanon will undergo "full" lockdown for four days, the country's cabinet announced on Tuesday, after a rise in coronavirus cases ensued from recently eased measures.

The lockdown is set to go into effect Wednesday night, allowing the Lebanese government to conduct a reassessment until it is lifted on Monday morning.

While full details on what the lockdown entails will be released by the interior ministry on Wednesday, reports said supermarkets will remain open during the next four days.

People will also be allowed out of their homes for "urgent matters", according to the reports.

Local media reported that all public gatherings will be banned, while Lebanon reviews its five phase reopening plan - already in its third stage since the start of this week.

During the cabinet session, Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said the government had achieved "success" in its fight against the coronavirus for over two months.

He added that the "relaxed approach" in some areas now threatens this success.

According to Lebanese outlet The Daily Star, President Michel Aoun said re-evaluation of the measures is necessary. Meanwhile, residents should abide by what is instructed by authorities, Aoun said.

Last week, Lebanon allowed prayers in mosques and churches at 30 percent capacity. On Monday, car dealers, kindergartens and casinos were allowed to reopen at 70 percent capacity.

Small businesses were given permission to open their doors first, in late April, as part of the first stage of Lebanon's phase-out plan, while the country grapples with one its worst economic crises in decades.

The cabinet also convened a meeting with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) set to discuss Lebanon's request for financial assistance.

Read also: Lebanon's uphill corruption battle against an 'untouchable class'

A night-time curfew was extended on Sunday after a rise in new coronavirus infections. The country has confirmed a total of 870 cases of covid-19, resulting in 26 deaths.

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