A recent major uptick in confirmed cases of Coronavirus has broken Lebanon’s generally steady streak of keeping numbers down from April through June.
Some of the recent cases are attributed to people arriving from abroad and bringing the disease with them, but the majority are in fact due to domestic re-openings and large gatherings, which all but ignore safety precautions and restrictions.
A prominent example is that of Kfardebian and Faqra, where measures to protect against Coronavirus are essentially nonexistent.
Huge numbers of people are closely conglomerating in places like Faqra Club, Jardins du Mzaar, and large house parties in chalets.
While Faqra Club and Jardins du Mzaar have begun taking the temperature of all who enter, the effectiveness of this measure is questionable at best.
The possibility of asymptomatic carriers combines with the fact that the vast majority of people in these establishments are not wearing masks.
Recently, a coronavirus scare was linked to students partying in Kfardebian and Faqra, most notably at places like the Redbull popup in Jardins du Mzaar and house parties nicknamed “opens” in Faqra.
This past weekend, rumors began swirling claiming that up to 50 students from schools like International College (IC), Louis Wegmann, and Lycée had tested positive for COVID19 after attending the aforementioned parties.
Shortly thereafter, a fake list began circulating on Whatsapp naming specific students and falsely claiming they had contracted the disease.
While most of the presumed cases remain unconfirmed and false rumors are aplenty, it is undeniable that the disease has spread itself to the mountain resort towns.
Individual cases from students in IC have been confirmed and the carriers and their friends have reportedly exposed the disease to fellow students and citizens in Kfardebian and Faqra.
When questioned, the Municipality of Kfardebian stated that, while only the Ministry of Health can confirm or deny COVID19 cases, they are keeping a close watch on all rumors and urging safety precautions in all institutions.
They also emphasized their emergency response team that has been in place since the outbreak of the pandemic.
The current advice of the Ministry of Health remains to wear masks, wash hands regularly, and avoid large gatherings of people. An app was also recently launched to aid in contact tracing.
Get the latest news and updates about the coronavirus outbreak in Lebanon along with a live monitor of cases in Lebanon as well as resources and information to help you guide the outbreak on our dedicated coronavirus page.