Lebanon Could 'lose Control' Of Coronavirus Outbreak: PM Diab

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BEIRUT: Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab said on Wednesday the country was at risk of losing its control over the country’s coronavirus outbreak after a spike in the number of cases following the massive explosion in Beirut on Aug 4.

“The number of cases is increasing greatly, and if this continues, we will lose control of this epidemic,” Diab was cited as saying in a statement issued by the Supreme Defence Council.

Lebanon registered 525 new COVID-19 infections and 12 deaths on Tuesday. The country experienced a spike in infections following the catastrophic explosion in the capital city at the start of the month.

Cases doubled in the two weeks following the blast, as infections spread in hospitals where victims were being treated, medics say.

The government imposed a partial lockdown last Friday to help combat community spread. But the shutdown, which includes a curfew from 6pm to 6am, still allows for clearing rubble, making repairs and giving out aid in neighbourhoods damaged by the explosion. The airport will remain open, with travellers having to take PCR tests before boarding and on arriving in the country.

The health minister for Lebanon’s caretaker government, Hamad Hassan, who also spoke to the Council, said the tally of coronavirus cases was concerning. Hassan added that hospital capacity needed to be increased to help combat the spike in cases, the official said.

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