Lebanon: Beirut prepares for new lockdown as COVID cases surge

20 августа 2020 г. 18:49

Beirut's local businesses spoke out on Thursday ahead of a two-week nationwide lockdown set to be imposed by Lebanese authorities amid a new spike in COVID-19 cases. The day before new restrictions enter into force, supermarkets noted an influx of customers trying to stock up their households. «Everyone is under stress to secure their needs for days,» said a Fakhani shop employee Hani Harb, adding «there is a tremendous panic among people to get their needs.» He said the restrictions affected the opening hours, causing overcrowding of the shops and complicating the control of social distancing in the premises. Market vendor Mohamad Aldaka backed the new round of restrictions. «If pandemic spreads like Italy, it will be catastrophic. We are geographically a small area, the Lebanese Republic, and the population is limited, then the whole people will be annihilated», he stressed. Lebanon will shut down for the next two weeks starting on Friday, with markets, shopping centres and other public areas being forced to close and a curfew being put in place. The country reported a record 456 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, reports say.

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