On Monday, May 25th, people from various northern towns visited the corniche of El-Mina in Tripoli to celebrate Eid El-Fitr. The coastal town saw huge crowds despite the government warnings and fears of spreading the coronavirus.
Men, women, and children flocked to the seaside road, strolled along the shoreline, rode bicycles, enjoyed street food, and did not maintain social distancing as strongly advised. Traffic jammed the street, and people jammed the sidewalk.
As a resident of Tripoli, Ayana Yakhni put it on her tweet: “In the Mina area of Tripoli, people forgot there is coronavirus, very normal life.”
By now, Lebanon has recorded over 1,000 infected cases, with nearly half of them recovering. Most of the cases are mild; a good chunk of patients don’t even feel the symptoms; while a small percentage, unfortunately, experiences the severity of the virus.
So far, 26 people have died from the coronavirus in Lebanon. The country had been quite successful in fighting the virus during the first wave, but as a surge of new cases arrives, people are getting tired of -and most can no longer afford- the serial lockdowns.
People are feeling the need to re-enter into normal life- least with new habits, including taking health precautions. That’s why a decision was taken on Monday by both the ministry of health and the interior ministry to distribute a million face masks for free.
Lebanon is home to around 6.8 million people, but the one million free face masks are a start for promoting healthy safety habits as the country inevitably reopens.
It’s important to emphasize here the crucial role of the citizens in achieving this national fight against the virus and controlling the second wave.
In fact, it is on the people to make it or break it. The authorities are doing their part and we must do ours if we want to resume normality soon.
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.