BEIRUT: Lebanon Tuesday registered a record 32 coronavirus deaths and 4,557 cases as a total lockdown to curb the skyrocketing numbers loomed.
Among the newly recorded cases, 13 were detected among travelers arriving in Lebanon, according to the Health Ministry report, bringing the total number of cases since the virus was first detected in the country in late February to 226,948. The total number of deaths now stands at 1,705 after the ministry added 44 old cases proved to be linked to COVID-19.
Lebanon's previous record of virus-related deaths in a 24-hour period was 26, recorded on Dec. 30.
A total of 26,197 PCR tests have been administered in the last 24 hours. The positivity rate of the tests in the last two weeks stood at 16.7 percent.
The Health Ministry said 1,597 patients were in hospital for COVID-19, with 618 in ICUs and 176 on mechanical ventilation.
The country is expected to go under a complete lockdown between Jan. 14 and 25, a period declared as a “state of emergency” by authorities.
A less stringent lockdown was implemented on Jan. 7 that was set to last until Feb. 1, but as numbers surged and hospitals ran out of space to take in COVID-19 patients in what was described as the “Italian scenario” and more recently the “UK scenario” authorities were prompted to impose a total shutdown.
An all-day curfew is set to go into effect starting Thursday, with land and sea borders closed and the airport operating at 20 percent capacity.
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