On Wednesday, March 4, Lebanese authorities have implemented entry restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Staff at Beirut's Rafic Hariri Airport (BEY) will carry out temperature screenings for arrivals. Further, travelers from China, South Korea, Japan, Iran, and Italy will be denied entry, with the exception of Lebanese citizens and residents. Lebanese citizens and residents who have traveled to these destinations and show symptoms of the virus are required to be placed under quarantine at a hospital for 14 days. The government welcome those who do not show symptoms to self-quarantine at home for the same amount of time.
On Friday, February 28, the Education Ministry on Friday, February 28, announced that all schools and universities will close until Sunday, March 8, to limit the spread of COVID-19. The measures took effect on Saturday, February 29.
As of Tuesday, March 3, there are 13 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Lebanon Further international spread of COVID-19 is 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 February 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the risk of spread and the risk of impact of the virus is "very high" at global level.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored 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.
To reduce the general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
- When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue - throw tissue away immediately and wash hands
- If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider
- Adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments
In the case that symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness emerge either during or after travel, travelers are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. Travelers returning from China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran, who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid potential spread of the disease.