Lebanon confirms one new coronavirus death and 29 infections

There have now been 27 deaths recorded due to the illness which was first detected on February 21 in the country, and 712 people have so far recovered


BEIRUT: Lebanon Sunday confirmed one new death due to coronavirus complications and 29 new infections, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 1,220.

There have now been 27 deaths recorded due to the illness which was first detected on Feb. 21 in the country, and 712 people have so far recovered. There are currently 481 active cases.

Of the new infections, 27 were detected among recently repatriated nationals and only two were found among the local community, the Health Ministry reported.

A Health Ministry source told The Daily Star that expat repatriation flights that had been postponed during phase three of the undertaking had arrived Saturday. He could not confirm the total number of repatriation flights or passengers.

The source said that 16 infections had been detected on a flight arriving from Gabon with over 100 passengers, nine infections on a flight from Democratic Republic of Congo, and two on a second flight from Congo.

Three infections were detected in Beirut, six in Baabda, one in Metn, three in Aley, two in Western Bekaa, one in Sidon, five in Tyre, six in Nabatieh, two in Bint Jbeil.

The new infections were detected among 1,498 PCR tests administered over the last 24 hours, and 344 of these were given to recently returned nationals. Tests are still under the 2,500 daily examinations that health experts agree are needed to make an accurate assessment of the virus’ spread and inform public policy with regard to easing lockdown measures.

The uptick in numbers comes as Lebanon continues to ease its coronavirus lockdown restrictions, reducing curfew from 12 a.m. until 5 a.m. starting Monday. Restaurants, cafes, shopping malls, museums and Casino du Liban can now permitted to open from 5 a.m. to midnight. Factories, grocery and meat stores, hotels and fuel stations can open 24 hours a day.

All establishments are required to follow health guidelines against the spread of coronavirus and avoid overcrowding.

The government announced a state of general mobilization in mid-March, and has been loosening restrictions since the beginning of May through a five-stage plan.

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