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The New Arab

Thirteen Lebanese military court soldiers contract coronavirus

Employees and visitors of the court are being tested for Covid-19 [Getty]

Date of publication: 11 May, 2020

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Lebanon's Beirut-based military court has closed after 13 soldiers were confirmed with the Covid-19 infection.
At least 13 soldiers from the Lebanese military court have been infected with the novel coronavirus, according to a statement by the army command.

Dozens of judges, lawyers and auditors who have visited the Beirut-based court have been alerted and are being tested for Covid-19, the statement added.

At least 40 lawyers who have attended cases at the court are awaiting examination results on Tuesday, the National Information Agency said.

The Bar Association announced the shuttering of all its buildings on Monday to prepare for sterilisation procedures, while military court judges and army officers take part in testing on Monday, Arabi21 reported.

Like much of the world and region, Lebanon has been battling with the Covid-19 outbreak, which has so far infected 845 people and killed 26 people across the country as of Monday.

Last week, the Lebanese cabinet approved a two-week extension of the partial coronavirus lockdown, recommended by the Higher Defence Council, despite no confirmed new cases.

Under the new extension, the easing of restrictions on businesses will continue as planned, while restaurants, hair salons and showrooms have already been allowed to re-open at partial capacity in the first stage of the phase out.

The Lebanese Higher Defence Council convened earlier to discuss the extension of the anti-virus 'general mobilisation' until 24 May.

The extension was proposed by Prime Minister Hassan Diab, who claimed "citizens" were not properly adhering to the easing measures, as businesses allowed to reopen.

"This might reflect negatively on the spread of the virus," the premier said, warning of a potential "second wave" of the virus in Lebanon.

Arguing in favour of the extension, Diab said the general outcome of coronavirus measures to date have been "good", and called for more strict implementation to be carried out by security agencies.

Read also: 'Starving is worse': Syrian refugees pushed to the edge of survival under Lebanon's lockdown

Security agencies, including the Lebanese Army, were asked to crackdown on any violations of coronavirus measures.

While businesses are allowed to operate, strict health measures have been imposed on firms wanting to re-open which remain unfeasible for many SMEs in the country.

Lebanon's partial lockdown has been in place since 15 March.

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