Lebanese officials have decided that now is the time to ease restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19, as multiple businesses went back to functioning normally on Monday.
Even though everyone is expected to implement safety measures during work and social gatherings, top health expert Dr. Firass Abiad is warning against the premature opening.
The head of the main governmental hospital Rafik Hariri University Hospital (RHUH) tweeted on Sunday that the high rate of cases has not been dealt with.
“They are not down, and it is disingenuous, to say the least, not to be forthcoming with the public,” Abiad wrote as he previewed a report showcasing a significant increase of COVID-19 cases in multiple districts in Lebanon.
The four-stage plan to ease Lebanon’s total lockdown has been accelerated, as the COVID-19 ministerial committee decided to reopen most shops and businesses on March 1st, while schools are set to resume classes on March 8th.
The country only began the vaccination campaign last week, with only 50,415 residents of the 6 million population vaccinated so far, according to the Health Ministry.
It should be noted that over 40% of vaccinated people weren’t registered to receive the vaccine, as some hospitals went freely administering the vaccine, while some reportedly refusing non-Lebanese nationals.
With a total of 4,650 deaths and 370,000 infections, which is not insignificant for a small country, Lebanon is now at high risk to see its infection rate increasing further, and experience another dangerous wave of COVID-19, as foreseen by Dr. Abiad.
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