Lebanese authorities announced the second stage of lockdown easing to begin from Monday, May 4, with the reopening of seaside corniches and promenades, restaurants and hair salons. These measures come following a ban which has been in place since March 15 amid the government's efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
According to reports, individuals will be able to go for walks along the coastal promenades providing that they continue following social distancing measures including wearing face masks and maintaining safe distances. Further, restaurants will be able to resume operations until 21:00 (local time), though shisha/hookah services are still prohibited. Barbers and hair salons are also permitted to reopen for individuals with pre-booked appointments.
Health authorities confirmed four new cases of COVID-19 in the country on Sunday, May 3, and stated that two of the patients had recently returned from Guinea. As of Monday, May 4, there are 737 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lebanon and 25 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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