Lebanon shuts parliament over coronavirus outbreak
The parliament's weekly Wednesday meetings were postponed, committee meetings were delayed and lawmakers' offices in the parliament building were shut for a week for a sterilisation procedure.
The move came as a Lebanese man died on Tuesday of the coronavirus, marking the country's first recorded death, a health ministry source told AFP.
The 56-year-old was receiving treatment in a state-run Beirut hospital, the ministry source said, adding that he had recently returned from Egypt, where the virus has also spread.Earlier this week, the government halted flights for non-residents from epicenters of the virus, shut schools and warned against public gatherings.
Last week, Lebanese Health Minister Hamad Hassan said the country's hospitals were prepared to deal with a coronavirus spread.
Regional neighbours Saudi Arabia and Qatar previously suspended flights to and from Lebanon, among other countries affected by coronavirus.
Lebanon's novel coronavirus flare-up began late last month, after Lebanese nationals returned home from visiting Shia holy sites in Qom, Iran, the epicentre of the Iranian outbreak.