Lebanese authorities were on Thursday readying for a new lockdown aimed at confronting a sharp surge in coronavirus infections across the country.
Health Minister Hamad Hasan issued Thursday the necessary guidelines in implementing the two-week lockdown.
In a statement issued by the Ministry of Public Health, Hasan instructed all monitoring doctors and medical personnel at the Health Ministry to refrain from admitting cold cases into hospitals for a period of 15 days, the National News Agency reported, noting that they were ordered instead to limit “admission to emergency cases, while working to empty hospital beds of recovering cases that do not require staying at the hospital.”
“Moreover, governmental and private hospitals hesitating to receive suspected or diagnosed Corona cases were required to engage in their national and humanitarian health duty, in light of the outbreak of the epidemic and in accordance with the contract terms concluded and the regulations of the state of emergency currently in effect.”
Meanwhile, the ministry’s health observers were also instructed to join the epidemiological surveillance team and track cases through the Health Protection Directorate in accordance with the instructions of the direct chiefs and district doctors.
The Health Ministry also urged all citizens to “demonstrate maximum levels of cooperation and commitment to preventive measures and to stay at home, restricting any outside movement or activity to strict necessity only, so as to reduce the number of infections and maintain their health safety and that of their families in wake of this serious epidemiological challenge.”
The new measures will come into effect on Friday and last just over two weeks, the interior ministry said, adding that they would not affect the clean-up and aid effort following the devastating August 4 Beirut port blast.
A curfew will be imposed from 6:00 pm (1500 GMT) to 6:00 am. Malls will be closed and restaurants restricted to delivery, with curtailed operating hours. Social gatherings will also be banned.
The airport will operate normally and ministries will be staffed at half capacity. Areas damaged by the massive explosion that hit Beirut Port on August 4 will also be exempt from the restrictions, as clean-up efforts continue across multiple neighborhoods.
Source: Lebanese media