Lebanon mulls fifth lockdown as Covid-19 cases rise
Figures from the health ministry brought Lebanon's total tally since February to 29,987 Covid-19 cases, including 307 deaths.
Outgoing Health Minister Hamad Hassan met on Monday with officials to discuss a proposal for a full two-week lockdown. In a televised conference after the meeting, Hassan said another lockdown would allow authorities to track and trace cases.
A potential lockdown, which would be the fifth since the outbreak, would also ease pressure on hospitals, which have been overwhelmed by Covid-19 admissions, Hassan added.
Cases have spiked in the aftermath of a massive explosion at the Beirut port on 4 August that killed more than 190 people and overwhelmed the capital's health services with thousands of wounded.
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Authorities on 21 August declared a lockdown in all parts of the country except those ravaged by the explosion, as well as a night-time curfew.
But they eased the restrictions a week later following protests from the private sector, already reeling from the country's worst economic downturn in decades.
The head of a major public hospital battling Covid-19, Firass Abiad, expressed his alarm at the rising rates over the weekend.
"I couldn't sleep last night. The corona numbers were shocking," he wrote on Twitter.