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    Coronavirus cases increase ‘not catastrophic’: Hasan

    The increase of coronavirus cases in Lebanon is “not catastrophic,” Health Minister Hamad Hasan said Wednesday, as the number of confirmed infections rose to 333.

    “The rise in the number of infections is a natural increase and not catastrophic, and if we continue in this way we are moving within the established plan,” Hasan was quoted as saying by local media.

    Hasan also confirmed that Baalbeck Governmental Hospital is ready to receive coronavirus patients.

    The total number of recorded coronavirus infections in Lebanon rose Wednesday morning by 10 percent on the previous day’s count, with 333 confirmed cases.

    There has been continuous growth in the total number of recorded cases for 23 days. The number of new cases detected each day is also steadily rising.

    This could in part be attributed to increased testing as more health centers become equipped to test and diagnose results. The Grand Serail’s National Operations Room announced in its daily report Tuesday that 5,285 tests have been conducted since the disease was first identified in Lebanon Feb 21.

    It is hoped that this can be brought under control if everyone abides by the government’s lockdown measures, which were introduced in full across the country March 15 after Cabinet’s declaration of a general mobilization.

    Cabinet later enhanced them March 22, tasking Lebanon’s security forces to clamp down on violators after it became evident that the public was not respecting the lockdown measures.

    Religious leaders from all faiths and denominations have called upon people to conduct prayers within their homes, rather than risk infection in group ceremonies.

    President Michel Aoun asked the Christian community not to go to Mass Wednesday, which is a national holiday marking the the feast of the Annunciation of the Lord.

    “Today, in the absence of celebrations for this national holiday, I call upon the Lebanese while they are committed to domestic isolation to pray for our nation and its people, and ward the danger of the deadly coronavirus pandemic away from humanity,” Aoun wrote on Twitter.

    Nearly all public and private institutions are shut and the borders are sealed to most traffic. Imports of food and other essential goods are ongoing and there is a steady flow of airplanes and ships carrying food and other raw material into Lebanon’s air and sea ports.

    Source : The Daily Star

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