Lebanon records 1,224 coronavirus cases, 80% of cases Delta variant

The total number of infections in Lebanon is 558,369

  
A medical staff member, wearing protective gear, stands at an intensive care unit for patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Rafik Hariri University Hospital, in Beirut, Lebanon January 19, 2021.

A medical staff member, wearing protective gear, stands at an intensive care unit for patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Rafik Hariri University Hospital, in Beirut, Lebanon January 19, 2021.

REUTERS/Emilie Madi.

BEIRUT: Lebanon registered 1,224 new coronavirus cases and two deaths the Health Ministry said Wednesday, as the head of the national coronavirus vaccine committee warned that 80 percent of new cases circulating in Lebanon were the Delta variant.

The new cases were detected among 23,960 tests, resulting in an average two-week positivity rate of 5.2 percent. Out of Wednesday's cases, 64 were from incoming passengers into Lebanon.

The total number of infections now sits at 558,369 and 7,897 deaths since the virus was first found in Lebanon in February 2020.

The Health Ministry report detailed that 240 individuals were in hospital with the virus, with 94 patients in intensive care and 17 on ventilators.

A further 7,411 first stage coronavirus vaccines were administered, bringing the total number to 1,18,40,43 people or 24.6 percent of the eligible population. A total of 26,494 second dose vaccines were also handed out, adding to 853,691 or 17.9 percent of the population eligible who are now fully vaccinated since the rollout began in February.

Meanwhile, the National News Agency reported that a statement from Dr Abdul Rahman Bizri in which he said the large increase in cases is a result of the current conditions in Lebanon and absence of any preventative measures at social gatherings, touristic places or in the workplace. He also mentioned the concentration of infections being recorded daily at Beirut airport.

Bizri also said that the Delta variant is responsible for "more than 80% of the current cases of Covid-19 in Lebanon and is rapidly spreading." He added that the virus is more transmittable than prevision mutations such as the British mutant or the initial version of the COVID-19 virus.

Commenting on the possibility of Lebanon imposing a lockdown to curb the spread of the disease, he said it would be “harmful to the economic movement and the livelihood of citizens who need it most."

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