Lebanese authorities have announced that measures in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are to be extended until at least August 2. This is the seventh extension of the measures since they were initially implemented in mid-March. Public gatherings are to remain banned and cultural venues will not reopen. Social distancing measures should be observed in public. A curfew between the hours of 00:00 and 05:00 (local time) remains in place but is expected to be reviewed shortly, with the Higher Defense Council recommending that the government lift the curfew.
The announcement comes as Lebanon prepares to reopen Beirut's Rafic Hariri International Airport (BEY) on Wednesday, July 1. Under new government regulations, arrivals will not be required to undergo a quarantine period but will be asked to undergo a COVID-19 test 96 hours before arrival, as well as once more in Beirut. A 100USD fee will be payable to the airline for the test. Arrivals must have an insurance policy that covers the potential cost of COVID-19 treatment. The airport will operate at 10 percent capacity following its reopening, permitting for 2000 travelers per day.
As of Tuesday, June 30, authorities have confirmed 1778 cases of COVID-19 and 34 associated deaths in Lebanon. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over 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 COVID-19 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.
Copyright and Disclaimer