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Lebanon extends restrictions, confines itself for Easter amid Covid-19 explosion

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                Resigning Prime Minister Hassan Diab has warned that Lebanon is on the brink of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, perhaps more dangerous than those that preceded it.  Faced with the progression of the coronavirus, the authorities decided on Friday March 26 to extend the state of general mobilization, which entered into force on March 15, 2020, until September 30.  The country will be totally confined for Christian Easter.

                                    <p><span><span><span><em><span><span>With our correspondent in Beirut,</span></span></em><span><span><strong>Paul Khalifeh</strong></span></span></span></span></span>

All the indicators relating to the evolution and control of the pandemic are in the red in Lebanon. The country has nearly 460 000 infections, or 400 for every 100 000 inhabitants. Well beyond 100 contaminations per 100 000 people, deemed critical by the WHO.

With 3 000 beds dedicated to coronavirus patients, including 1 200 in intensive care, the hospital sector has reached its maximum development capacity : 95 % of intensive care units are occupied.

The vaccination campaign is very slow. 130 000 people received their injection, including 30 000 only the second dose. At this rate, Lebanon cannot hope to achieve collective immunity for another year.

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Faced with this worrying situation, the authorities have taken a series of measures : total confinement with a curfew during the Catholic and Orthodox Passover, and the feast that marks the end of the month of Ramadan.

The pubs and nightclubs will remain closed until further notice, as well as cinemas and theaters. Celebrations and social gatherings are still not allowed.

To speed up the vaccination campaign, the private sector was called upon. A pharmaceutical company has pledged to import one million doses of Sputnik V. 50 000 doses have already arrived on Friday March 26.

Read also : Health crisis in Lebanon: a nurse testifies to the hemorrhage of caregivers

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