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COVID-19 pandemic in Lebanon

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COVID-19 pandemic in Lebanon
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationLebanon
First caseBeirut
Arrival date21 February 2020
(1 year, 1 week and 2 days ago)
OriginWuhan, China
Confirmed cases3,582 (as of 26 July)[1]
Recovered1,671 (as of 26 July)[1]
Deaths
47 (as of 26 July)[1]

The COVID-19 pandemic in Lebanon is part of the ongoing worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was confirmed to have reached Lebanon in February 2020.

Background[edit source | edit]

On 12 January, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, who had initially come to the attention of the WHO on 31 December 2019.[2][3]

Unlike SARS of 2003, the case fatality rate for COVID-19[4][5] has been much lower, but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll.[6][4]

Timeline[edit source | edit]

Template:Scrolling table/top |- !Cases |- !Deaths |- !Recoveries Template:Scrolling table/mid |- style="background:#eee;text-align:center;"

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21 Feb 2020

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26 Feb 2020

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28 Feb 2020

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29 Feb 2020

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01 Mar 2020

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02 Mar 2020

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04 Mar 2020

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06 Mar 2020

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07 Mar 2020

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08 Mar 2020

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09 Mar 2020

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10 Mar 2020

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11 Mar 2020

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12 Mar 2020

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13 Mar 2020

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14 Mar 2020

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15 Mar 2020

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16 Mar 2020

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17 Mar 2020

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18 Mar 2020

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19 Mar 2020

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20 Mar 2020

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21 Mar 2020

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22 Mar 2020

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23 Mar 2020

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24 Mar 2020

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25 Mar 2020

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26 Mar 2020

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27 Mar 2020

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28 Mar 2020

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29 Mar 2020

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30 Mar 2020

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31 Mar 2020

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1 Apr 2020

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2 Apr 2020

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3 Apr 2020

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4 Apr 2020

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5 Apr 2020

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6 Apr 2020

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7 Apr 2020

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8 Apr 2020

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9 Apr 2020

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10 Apr 2020

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11 Apr 2020

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12 Apr 2020

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13 Apr 2020

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14 Apr 2020

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15 Apr 2020

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16 Apr 2020

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17 Apr 2020

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18 Apr 2020

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19 Apr 2020

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20 Apr 2020

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21 Apr 2020

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22 Apr 2020

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23 Apr 2020

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24 Apr 2020

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25 Apr 2020

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26 Apr 2020

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27 Apr 2020

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28 Apr 2020

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29 Apr 2020

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30 Apr 2020

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01 May 2020

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02 May 2020

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03 May 2020

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04 May 2020

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05 May 2020

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06 May 2020

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07 May 2020

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08 May 2020

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09 May 2020

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10 May 2020

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11 May 2020

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12 May 2020

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13 May 2020

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14 May 2020

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15 May 2020

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16 May 2020

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17 May 2020

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18 May 2020

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19 May 2020

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20 May 2020

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21 May 2020

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22 May 2020

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23 May 2020

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24 May 2020

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25 May 2020

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26 May 2020

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27 May 2020

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28 May 2020

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29 May 2020

| class = "nowrap unsortable" style="line-height:99%;vertical-align:bottom;padding:.4em .4em .2em;background-position:50% .4em !important;min-width:0.875em;max-width:0.875em;width:0.875em;overflow:hidden;" |

30 May 2020

| class = "nowrap unsortable" style="line-height:99%;vertical-align:bottom;padding:.4em .4em .2em;background-position:50% .4em !important;min-width:0.875em;max-width:0.875em;width:0.875em;overflow:hidden;" |

31 May 2020

| class = "nowrap unsortable" style="line-height:99%;vertical-align:bottom;padding:.4em .4em .2em;background-position:50% .4em !important;min-width:0.875em;max-width:0.875em;width:0.875em;overflow:hidden;" |

01 June 2020

| class = "nowrap unsortable" style="line-height:99%;vertical-align:bottom;padding:.4em .4em .2em;background-position:50% .4em !important;min-width:0.875em;max-width:0.875em;width:0.875em;overflow:hidden;" |

02 June 2020

| class = "nowrap unsortable" style="line-height:99%;vertical-align:bottom;padding:.4em .4em .2em;background-position:50% .4em !important;min-width:0.875em;max-width:0.875em;width:0.875em;overflow:hidden;" |

03 June 2020

| class = "nowrap unsortable" style="line-height:99%;vertical-align:bottom;padding:.4em .4em .2em;background-position:50% .4em !important;min-width:0.875em;max-width:0.875em;width:0.875em;overflow:hidden;" |

04 June 2020

|- style="background:#ccc;text-align:center;" |1||2||4||7||10||10||15||22||28||32||41||52||66||73||78||93||99||110||124||133||149||163||230||248||256||304||333||368||391||412||438||446||463||479||494||508||520||527||541||548||575||582||609||619||630||632||641||658||663||668||672||673||677||677||682||688||696||704||707||710||717||721||725||729||733||737||740||741||750||784||796||809||845||859||870||878||886||891||902||911||931||954||961||1024||1086||1097||114||1119||1140||1161||1168||1172||1192||1220||1233||1242||1256||1306 |- style="background:#fdd;text-align:center;" |0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||2||3||3||3||3||3||3||4||4||4||4||4||4||4||5||6||7||8||10||11||12||14||14||17||17||18||19||19||19||19||20||20||20||20||21||21||21||21||21||21||21||21||22||22||22||24||24||24||24||24||24||24||25||25||25||25||25||25||26||26||26||26||26||26||26||26||26||26||26||26||26||26||26||26||26||26||26||26||26||26||26||27||27||27||27||28 |- style="background:#dfd;text-align:center;" |0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||1||1||1||2||3||3||3||8||8||8||8||8||20||23||23||30||30||32||32||43||44||44||54||54||54||60||64||64||67||67||67||67||67||80||80||85||95||99||100||102||108||140||140||143||145||145||145||150||150||150||150||150||200||200||200||220||223||234||234||234||234||236||236||246||247||247||251||251||251||663||673||677||688||688||689||692||699||705||709||712||715||719||724||731 |- | colspan="100" |Source : Lebanese Ministry of Public Health. As of 4 June 2020 Template:Scrolling table/end

February 2020[edit source | edit]

Template:COVID-19 pandemic data/Lebanon medical cases chart On 21 February 2020, Lebanon confirmed its first case of COVID-19: a 45-year-old woman traveling back from pilgrimage in Qom, Iran tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and was transferred to a hospital in Beirut.[7]

On 26 February, a second woman, who returned from Iran on the same Mahan Air flight as the first patient, also tested positive.[8][9]

On 27 February, a 77-year-old Iranian man, who arrived from Iran on 24 February, tested positive and was admitted to Rafik Hariri University Hospital in Beirut.[10][11]

On 28 February, a Syrian woman tested positive and was admitted to Rafik Hariri University Hospital in Beirut.[12]

On 29 February, the total reached 7 confirmed cases.[13]

March 2020[edit source | edit]

On 1 March, the Ministry of Health announced 3 new cases, bringing the total cases to 13. These three people had self-isolated upon arriving in Lebanon from Iran days before.[14]

On 4 March, total confirmed cases reached 15.[15]

On 10 March, the first coronavirus-related death in Lebanon was recorded.[16]

On 11 March, Rafik Hariri University Hospital announced the second death, a 55-year-old man.[17] There were also 9 new cases. The first fully recovered patient was also announced.[18]

On 12 March, the third death was reported. This was a 79-year-old man who was infected from the first deceased patient at a hospital in Byblos.[19]

On 13 March, the total number of cases reached 78. These included an employee at the Ministry of Public Health.[20][21]

On 14 March, 15 new cases were announced in Lebanon, bringing the total to 93.[22]

On 15 March, 6 new cases were announced, bringing the total to 99.[23] Lebanon declared a state of medical emergency.[24] The government announced the two-week closure of Beirut Airport, seaports and land entrances to begin on March 18.[25]

On 21 March, Prime Minister Hassan Diab in a televised speech urged people in Lebanon to implement "self-curfew," adding that security forces would enforce the lockdown measures.[26]

On 26 March, Lebanon imposed a partial curfew from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. to slow the spread of the virus. 35 new cases were announced, bringing the total number of cases to 368.[27]

On 30 March, there were 446 confirmed cases and 11 deaths.[28]

April 2020[edit source | edit]

On 2 April, Philippine ambassador to Lebanon, Bernardita Catalla, died of COVID-19 in Beirut at the age of 62. She was the first Filipino diplomat to succumb to the disease.[29] Human Rights Watch released a report saying that at least 21 Lebanese municipalities have introduced discriminatory restrictions on Syrian refugees that do not apply to Lebanese residents as part of their efforts to combat COVID-19, undermining the country's public health response.[30]

On 4 April, the Minister Of Health department announced there were 520 total cases of COVID-19.

On 9 April, the Lebanese Cabinet extended the national lockdown, which started on 15 March and was extended on 26 March, for an additional 2 weeks until 26 April.[31]

On 22 April, a Palestinian from Syria became the first case reported in a refugee camp, located in the Wavel refugee camp in Bekaa. The total number of cases was 682, with 22 deaths.[32][33]

May 2020[edit source | edit]

On 5 May, the national lockdown was extended by the government for an additional 2 weeks until 24 May. The total number of cases was 741, with 25 deaths as of 5 May.[34]

On 7 May, 25 Lebanese citizens who boarded an inbound flight from Nigeria tested positive.[35]

On 13 May, a full lockdown went into effect until 18 May due to a large increase in positive cases. Over 100 new cases in the previous 4 days were announced, bring the total number of infected to 870, with 26 deaths.[36][37]

On 21 May, Lebanon's Health Ministry reported 63 new cases of the coronavirus, the largest single-day increase since the outbreak of the pandemic. Many of the new cases were the result of Lebanese expatriates returning home, Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad said.[38]

August 2020[edit source | edit]

On 6 August, a record 255 new cases were reported by the National News Agency in Lebanon along with two deaths.[39]

On 11 August, Lebanon announced a record daily number of over 300 COVID-19 infections and seven deaths.[40]

Following a surge in infections, on 18 August 2020, Lebanon ordered a two-week lockdown.[41]

Containment[edit source | edit]

Education[edit source | edit]

On 28 February, the Minister of Education Tarek al-Majzoub announced the closure of all educational institutions starting on 29 February until 8 March.[42] The decision was seen as unnecessarily strict by some universities including the American University of Beirut, the Lebanese American University, and the Univeristé Saint-Joseph who called for evidence-based decision-making to avoid unnecessary panic. After initially announcing that it would stay open in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, and ignoring the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education's request that it shut down, in early March 2020 the university announced that it would close down.[43][44] The universities did ultimately abide by the decision and close after discussions with the Minister of Education.[45] The American University of Beirut has consequently formed an expert committee for independent advising on the pandemic.[46]

On 6 March, the Minister of Health Hamad Hassan declared that "Lebanon is no longer in Coronavirus containment stage" following the entry of several new cases to Lebanon coming from countries previously classified as not infected and urged the population to take preventive measures such as avoiding public venues, like resorts and theaters.[47] Following this statement, the closure of schools, universities, and nurseries was extended to March 14.[48]

Religion[edit source | edit]

In reaction to the pandemic, several religious institutions in Lebanon decided to act proactively changing traditional ceremony methods to limit the spread of the virus. Churches and mosques have been cleaned and disinfected, and practices have been adjusted. Within Christian communities, churches have emptied fonts of holy water, and communion is carried out by handing the Eucharist instead of placing directly in the mouth. Similarly, within Muslim communities, it was recommended that people use their own prayer rugs and do ritual cleaning at home. Instructions by both religious parties recommend greetings without hand-shaking nor kissing.[49]

Churches and mosques were reopened on 10 May at reduced capacity. The number of worshipers is not allowed to exceed 30% of the total capacity, and sanitary conditions and preventive measures must be followed. Churches and mosques were closed since 15 March to prevent the spread of the virus.[50][51]

Public places and businesses[edit source | edit]

On 21 January, weeks before the first case in Lebanon was confirmed, the Lebanese Football Association announced that they would suspend operations due to financial reasons; this suspension caused all remaining games of the 2019–20 Lebanese Premier League season to be cancelled.[52]

On 6 March, gyms, cinemas, theaters, and nightclubs were ordered to close their doors.[53][54]

On 11 March, all restaurants in Lebanon closed.[55]

On 12 March, most major malls announced their closure until further notice.[56]

On 4 May, restaurants and barbers were allowed to reopen, although at reduced capacity.[34][57]

Government[edit source | edit]

On 9 March, Lebanese Parliament closed down.[58] All people were instructed by the government to stay home and the army was asked to interfere by order from Lebanese president and prime minister.[citation needed]

On 12 March, the government announced that internet service through the public provider Ogero would be boosted through the end of April, to encourage users to stay home.[59] Other private internet companies and phone line companies followed suit with similar discounts/boosts for their customers.[citation needed]

Technology[edit source | edit]

On 21 February 2020, the international Lebanese website, "Lebanon Info Center",[60] was the first Lebanese website to officially cover the COVID-19 situation in Lebanon, with its page "Lebanon Coronavirus (COVID-19) Emergency", thus, it was the first to offer official emergency and cases numbers, non-commercial recommendations and advice that are based on science and the actual situation on the Lebanese territories.[61]

On 12 March 2020, a media site in Lebanon, The961, announced[62] the launch of a live tracker monitoring the number of confirmed cases, deaths, and recoveries in Lebanon in real-time, manually cross-referencing three sources by directly communicating with the Ministry of Health, World Health Organization and the Lebanese Red Cross.[63] In the announcement thread, The961 founder, Anthony Kantara, explained the frustration of the lack of consistent and clear information as the motivator. The dedicated page also includes the latest news, updates and FAQs surrounding COVID-19.[64]

On 19 March, the Information Minister Manal Abdul Samad launched a government site dedicated to the COVID-19 outbreak in Lebanon.[65] However, the website updates may depend on the ministry availability constraints.[citation needed]

Politicization[edit source | edit]

As the first flight introducing coronavirus patients was a flight from Qom, Iran—a city plagued by the coronavirus—some Lebanese citizens and media have cast blame onto Iran and Hezbollah for being silent about the issue and not taking necessary measures against it. Some agents blamed Iran for bringing in the virus to the country. Following that, Information Minister Manal Abdul-Samad warned against involving political tensions in the pandemic.[66]

Economic impact[edit source | edit]

Non-payment of salaries was reported.[60] A suffocating economic crisis has left Lebanon's poor with little or no means to cope with extra hardship.[67]

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet raised the alarm on Lebanon's socio-economic crisis on 10 July 2020. Her statement cited Lebanese and UN figures that estimated 75% of Lebanon's population are in need of aid. Since October, the Lira had lost more than 80% of its value and chronic power cuts are now the norm. In addition, Lebanon hosts more than 250,000 migrant workers, many of which have lost their jobs, not been paid, been left homeless, and unable to send remittances to their families back home. Bachlet called on the country's political parties to urgently enact reforms and prioritize essentials such as electricity, food, health and education.[68][69]

Controversy[edit source | edit]

Lebanon has faced a significant shortage of test kits amidst the outbreak. Al Jazeera reported that undocumented migrants have no access to testing.[70]

See also[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Lebanon Coronavirus (COVID-19) Emergency". lebanoninfocenter.eu.org. Lebanon Info Center. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  2. Elsevier. "Novel Coronavirus Information Center". Elsevier Connect. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  3. Reynolds, Matt (4 March 2020). "What is coronavirus and how close is it to becoming a pandemic?". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Archived from the original on 5 March 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Crunching the numbers for coronavirus". Imperial News. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  5. "High consequence infectious diseases (HCID); Guidance and information about high consequence infectious diseases and their management in England". GOV.UK. Archived from the original on 3 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  6. "World Federation Of Societies of Anaesthesiologists – Coronavirus". www.wfsahq.org. Archived from the original on 12 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  7. "First Coronavirus Case Confirmed in Lebanon". The961. 21 February 2020. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  8. "Lebanon reports second coronavirus case". www.aa.com.tr. Archived from the original on 27 February 2020. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  9. "Second Coronavirus Case Just Recorded in Lebanon". The961. 27 February 2020. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  10. Foundation, Thomson Reuters. "Lebanon health ministry confirms third case of coronavirus, NNA reports". news.trust.org. Archived from the original on 27 February 2020. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  11. "Health Ministry Confirms Third Cononavirus Case in Lebanon". MTV Lebanon (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 27 February 2020. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  12. "Iraq, Lebanon confirm new coronavirus cases". www.aa.com.tr. Archived from the original on 29 February 2020. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  13. "Lebanon Just Confirmed 7 Coronavirus Cases in Total". The961. 29 February 2020. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  14. "Three New Coronavirus Cases Just Reported in Lebanon by the Health Ministry". The961. 1 March 2020. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  15. Abdul Reda, Nour (4 March 2020). "Lebanon Just Confirmed More Coronavirus Cases Bringing the Total to 15". The961. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  16. Abdul Reda, Nour (10 March 2020). "Breaking: First Person Dies From Coronavirus in Lebanon". The961. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  17. Yassine, Hussein (11 March 2020). "Breaking: Second Coronavirus Death in Lebanon". The961. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  18. Abdul Reda, Nour (11 March 2020). "First Fully Recovered Coronavirus Patient Just Announced in Lebanon". The961. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  19. Abdul Reda, Nour (12 March 2020). "Breaking: Third Coronavirus Death Just Recorded in Lebanon". The961. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  20. Yassine, Hussein (13 March 2020). "Breaking: 1 New Coronavirus Case in Lebanon, Total of 78". The961. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  21. Yassine, Hussein (13 March 2020). "Lebanon's Health Ministry Employee Tests Positive as Total Coronavirus Cases Reach 77". The961. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  22. Yassine, Hussein (14 March 2020). "Breaking: 15 New Coronavirus Cases in Lebanon, Total of 93". The961. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  23. Yassine, Hussein (15 March 2020). "Breaking: 6 New Coronavirus Cases in Lebanon, Total of 99". The961. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  24. Jamal, Omar (15 March 2020). "Breaking: Lebanon Officially Declares State of Medical Emergency". The961. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  25. Yassine, Hussein (15 March 2020). "Breaking: Lebanon Will Officially Shut Beirut Airport". The961. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  26. "PM Diab calls on citizens to implement "self-curfew"". The Daily Star. 21 March 2020.
  27. Geldi, Mahmut (26 March 2020). "Lebanon to impose partial curfew over coronavirus". Anadolu Agency. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  28. "Lebanon: people without ID blocked from coronavirus testing". Middle East Monitor. 30 March 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  29. "Statement: On the Demise of Honorable Bernardita L. Catalla, Philippine Ambassador to Lebanon". Department of Foreign Affairs. 2 April 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  30. "Statement: On the Demise of Honorable Bernardita L. Catalla, Philippine Ambassador to Lebanon". Human Rights Watch. 2 April 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  31. "Lebanon extends coronavirus lockdown to April 26". The Daily Star. 9 April 2020. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  32. Karam, Zeina (22 April 2020). "First virus case recorded in refugee camp in Lebanon". Associated Press News. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  33. Rummler, Orion (22 April 2020). "Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon reports first coronavirus case". Axios. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  34. 34.0 34.1 "Lebanon extends virus shutdown, PM warns of second wave". National Post. 5 May 2020. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
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  38. Knecht, Eric (21 May 2020). "Lebanon sees highest single-day jump in coronavirus cases". Reuters. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  39. "Lebanon reports record daily Covid-19 cases | New Straits Times". NST Online. 7 August 2020.
  40. "Lebanon registers record number of daily COVID-19 cases". Reuters. 11 August 2020.
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  50. Houssari, Najia (6 May 2020). "Lebanon reopens mosques for Friday prayers, churches for Sunday mass". Arab News. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
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  52. "القرار المرّ: نشاط الفوتبول معلّق حتى إشعار آخر". الأخبار (in Arabic). Retrieved 27 January 2020.
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  54. Jamal, Omar (6 March 2020). "Breaking: All Nightclubs in Lebanon Ordered to Shut Down Due to Coronavirus". The961. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  55. Jamal, Omar (12 March 2020). "Major Malls Across Lebanon Close Until Further Notice". The961. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  56. Lilian Diab, Jasmin (11 March 2020). "All Restaurants in Lebanon Will Close Down to Contain Coronavirus". The961. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  57. Houssari, Najia (3 May 2020). "Lebanon relaxes coronavirus restrictions by opening seaside promenades, restaurants". Arab News. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  58. Zakhour, Maria (9 March 2020). "Lebanese Parliament Just Closed Due to Coronavirus". The961. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
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  66. "Coronavirus politicized in Lebanon as some blame Iran. The Actual numbers showed that the spread was more and faster in the Areas of the people who came from Italy and UK but still some lebanese people Insist to involve the virus the achieve political goals". AP NEWS. 22 February 2020. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  67. "Coronavirus compounds Lebanon's woes, many struggle for food". Reuters. 2 April 2020. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  68. "OHCHR | Bachelet sounds alarm over Lebanon economic crisis, calls for urgent and unified response". www.ohchr.org. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  69. "Lebanon 'fast spiralling out of control' leaving many destitute and facing starvation, warns Bachelet". UN News. 10 July 2020. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  70. by Timour Azhari28 Mar 2020 19:59 GMT. "Undocumented in Lebanon: No papers, no coronavirus test | Coronavirus pandemic News". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 29 March 2020.

External links[edit source | edit]