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26 Mar 2020 | 12:25 PM UTC

Lebanon: Government extends nationwide lockdown to April 12 /update 11

Government extends nationwide lockdown to April 12 due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak; follow government directives



On Thursday, March 26, Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad announced that a nationwide lockdown set to expire on March 29 has been extended by two weeks until Sunday, April 12, to prevent further spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). As such, all non-essential businesses will remain closed, and people will only be permitted to leave their homes to buy food and medicine. Additionally, Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport (BEY), along with all ports and land borders, will remain closed. The government has also extended the shutdown to all public institutions, and has ordered exempt stores, such as pharmacies and supermarkets, to close between 19:00 and 05:00 (local time) daily.

To date, there have been more than 365 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, with six associated deaths. 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 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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