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Lebanon to begin two-week “full lockdown” today


Lebanon to begin two-week “full lockdown” today

Lebanon Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Lebanon is set to begin a two-week lockdown today in an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the country and reduce pressure on its the healthcare system.

After successfully containing the first wave of the virus between March and June thanks to an early general closure, Lebanon has seen a gradual increase in daily infections since July. The devastating explosion in the Beirut port on August 4 amplified the phenomenon of social contagion, which has raised fear of a collapse of the health system.

The health crisis comes on top of an unprecedented economic debacle that has doubled the poverty rate, prompting economic organisations to oppose a total shutdown. The containment measures taken so far to fight the COVID-19 pandemic have amplified the worst economic crisis since the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990).

The lockdown will worsen the nation’s economic troubles, leading to the closure of businesses and massive layoffs in a country where 45% of the population lives below the poverty line and more than 35% of the working population is unemployed. Expect to see a drop in Lebanese exports to trade partners including the UAE and Saudi Arabia, endangering regional economic security.

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