Lebanon Is Heading Towards A Gradual Reopening

TrekEarth/Eugene Ward

After three weeks of total lockdown, which is scheduled to end on February 8th, the head of the government’s emergency health committee announced on Tuesday that a gradual reopening of the country is now highly possible.

Dr. Abdul Rahman Bizri, an infectious disease specialist at AUBMC, told local news outlet MTV that the ministerial coronavirus follow-up committee is recommending a gradual reopening of the country after February 8th.

Dr. Bizri added that he deemed this plan the “best option” for Lebanon, considering the recent decrease in the number of infections, which could be a confirmation of a successful lockdown as local medical experts have declared it.

However, a gradual reopening process is a must since “the positivity rate of the tests is still at 22 percent, which will keep the mortality rate high.” January was a brutal month for Lebanon with over 1,600 deaths related to the coronavirus, and hospitals reaching maximum capacity.

It is expected, according to Dr. Bizri, that Lebanon will experience another dreadful surge in the daily number of infections around Valentine’s Day. However, a lockdown extension, which should be a must, is further aggravating the socio-economic crisis that Lebanon can no longer withstand.

Acknowledging the controversial situation, Dr. Bizri maintains that Lebanon shouldn’t reopen its schools at this phase, a decision that the ministerial committee will have to finalize on Friday, along with what is related to all other sectors.

With the latest protests in the country, especially in Tripoli where people couldn’t handle anymore the dire living conditions exacerbated by the total lockdown with no financial governmental assistance, Lebanon might expect another surge of infections.

We have a dedicated coronavirus section where you can find the latest news/updates about the pandemic in Lebanon, inform yourself with WHO-verified resources, and track the number of cases in Lebanon in real-time. Click here.

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