Lebanon reports 4,774 COVID-19 cases, highest to date, total surpasses 200,000


Lebanon reported its highest daily number of new coronavirus cases since the outbreak began in December 2019, with the health ministry reporting 4,774 new infections in the past 24 hours.

The total number of confirmed cases in the country is now 204,699. Lebanon also reported 16 new coronavirus deaths Thursday, bringing the number of total coronavirus deaths in the small Mediterranean country to 1553 deaths.

Lebanon began a 25-day nationwide lockdown Thursday to limit the spread of the coronavirus as infections hit a new record in the tiny Mediterranean nation and patients overwhelm the health care sector.

The lockdown is the third in Lebanon since the first case was reported in late February. It closes most businesses and limits traffic by imposing an odd and even license plate rule on alternating days. It also reduces the number of flights at the country’s only international airport.

It came after a holiday season in which tens of thousands of visitors flying into the country to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s.

“The best way to limit the spread is to stay at home,” outgoing Health Minister Hamad Hassan told the local LBC TV station.

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