BEIRUT — Lebanese authorities began implementing an 11-day nationwide shutdown and round of curfew on Thursday, which is expected to limit the spread of out-of-control coronavirus infections after the holiday period.
For the first time, residents were required to request an hourly permit to leave home for “emergencies”, including visiting a bakery, pharmacist, doctor, hospital, or airport.
There was pressure on the authorities to adopt a stern attitude after getting out of bed with daily infections reaching an all-high level of 5,440 cases last week in a country of about 6 million people.
Even before the coronaviruses, Lebanon was undergoing an unprecedented economic and financial crisis that saw a decline in its national currency and bank sector and forced depositors out of savings. Hospitals, long considered the best in the Middle East, have struggled to pay employees, operate equipment and secure essential medical supplies as the dollar shortages.
Amid the increase, many hospitals have now reached maximum capacity for coronovirus patients. Some have stopped voluntary surgery as soon as they have moved out of the beds, oxygen tanks and ventilators.
In addition, the country has been without a government since the old resigned after the August 4 explosion in the sinister port, which triggered 4 explosions at the port of Beirut, putting another strain in hospitals, injuring them . At least three hospitals were destroyed.
A large explosion caused by an explosion of poorly stored ammonium nitrate reserves set the city on fire, killing more than 200 people and injuring thousands.
On Thursday, police targeted outposts across the country, examining motorists’ permits on the road. The curfew is the strictest since the onset of the epidemic. For the first time, even supermarkets were told to close their doors and open for delivery only.
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Lebanon announced a nationwide lockout only last week. But many people, including the Health Minister and a government committee official, have considered it too low because it has exempted many sectors. In some areas of the country, it was business as usual, leading to a complete shutdown and a greater likelihood of curfew.