Lebanese president's son-in-law, former FM Gebran Bassil contracts Covid-19

Lebanese president's son-in-law, former FM Gebran Bassil contracts Covid-19
2 min read
27 September, 2020
The leader of the Christian Free Patriotic Movement and President Michel Aoun's son-in-law, Gebran Bassil, confirmed he has contracted the novel coronavirus.
Bassil said he was isolating [Getty]
Former Lebanese foreign minister Gebran Bassil confirmed his positive Covid-19 infection on Saturday, urging all officials that may have come into contact with him to test for the novel coronavirus.

The leader of the Christian Free Patriotic Movement said he would quarantine until further notice and apologised for not knowing of his infection earlier, a statement by the political party said.

The announcement raises concerns over the health of President Michel Aoun, who is the father-in-law of Bassil.

Bassil’s announcement comes amid an alarming surge in coronavirus cases in Lebanon, with record numbers registered almost every day for the past week.

On Saturday, the health ministry confirmed 1,280 new coronavirus cases, bringing the overall number of infections in Lebanon to 33,162. 

So far, the government has recorded 317 deaths from Covid-19 since the first case was reported in late February.

Health Minister Hamad Hassan has recommended a total lockdown for two weeks to stem the rise in daily detected infections, but authorities will find it difficult to impose another lockdown amid an unprecedented economic collapse.

The rise in cases in Lebanon began after a lockdown was eased and the country’s only international airport was reopened in early July. 

Read also: Coronavirus cases in Lebanon’s largest prison soar past 350

The surge continued after the massive August 4 explosion in Beirut’s port that killed 193 people, injured at least 6,500 and devastated much of the city.

The blast also overwhelmed Beirut’s hospitals and badly damaged two that had a key role in handling virus cases.

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