Lebanon’s Supreme Defense Council convened on Wednesday morning to discuss the latest developments and the procedures regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.
The Council, headed by President Michel Aoun and attended by caretakers Prime Minister Hassan Diab and Health Minister Hamad Hasan, and other officials and military generals, agreed to extend the general mobilization until December.
Announcing the extension, caretaker PM Diab said that Lebanon is going through “a sensitive phase in the confrontation with coronavirus.”
He suggested that if the case numbers continue to rise at their current rate, “we will lose control of the epidemic.”
Diab also noted that the number of COVID-19-related deaths is increasing dramatically, concluding, “I see the necessity to renew the general mobilization until the end of the current year.”
Indeed, the daily case numbers, as recorded by the Health Ministry, have been soaring by the day. Last Friday, Lebanon recorded 628 new cases of infection; an all-time high for the country.
As of the time of writing, a total of 13,687 cases have been recorded, 9,826 of which are active, in addition to 138 deaths related to the disease and 3,723 full recoveries.
The Supreme Defense Council also discussed the topic of the extension of UNIFIL’s term.
In this regard, Diab said: “The atmosphere that we have is positive in principle, and I assume that the extension for UNIFIL will be ratified on Friday by the UN Security Council.”
Notably, he stressed that the extension without modifying UNIFIL‘s mandate “is in the interest of the countries of the world.”
This particular topic recently became a serious matter for Lebanon after Israel requested that the Intermin Force be given more power in South Lebanon.
On a side note, close to midnight on Tuesday, the Israeli military fired numerous white phosphorus munitions and illuminating projectiles into Lebanese territory after suspecting an infiltration into Israeli settlements from the Lebanese side.