Lebanon has registered on Sunday a record 1,006 cases of Covid-19 and 11 deaths over the past 24 hours amid a sharp increase in infections and deaths due to the virus.
Health Minister Hamad Hasan recommended a total lockdown for two weeks to stem the alarming rise in daily detected infections, but authorities will find it difficult to impose another lockdown amid an unprecedented economic collapse.
“I call for … all calculations and economic caveats to be dropped, and for there to be a general closure for a period of two weeks to stop the spread,” Hasan told local newspaper Addiyar in comments published Saturday night.
Hasan told Addiyar that the rise in the number of cases was due to a relaxation of coronavirus containment measures, recklessness and a lack of a feeling of responsibility at the individual and societal level toward fighting the virus. He also said that not all state and private institutions had put in place the necessary preventive measures.
The new cases registered by the Health Ministry bring the overall number of confirmed cases in Lebanon to 29,303, while deaths have reached 297 since the first case was reported in the country in late February.
It was the third consecutive record-breaking day of confirmed virus cases.
The rise began after a lockdown was eased and the country’s only international airport was reopened in early July. The surge continued after the massive 4 August explosion in Beirut’s port that killed 193 people, injured at least 6,500 and devastated much of the city.