Coronavirus: Lebanon prepares for complete COVID-19 shutdown amid panic buying


Supermarket shelves are left empty in Lebanon as panic buyers rush to purchase goods after the country’s supreme defense council announced a complete lockdown for eleven days starting on Thursday. The lockdown is the first that includes closure of supermarkets after the country recorded an unpreceded spread in coronavirus infections.

The supreme defense council declared of a state of health emergency in Lebanon.

Supermarkets will only be able to operate through deliveries without providing in-store services.

The council announced that Beirut’s international airport will not be closed for flights. Expatriates returning from Baghdad, Istanbul, Adana and Addis Ababa are required to quarantine in hotels for 7 days. Travels from other regions need to undergo a PCR examination on arrival with a 72-hour mandatory quarantine.

The council added that general passenger traffic at Rafic Hariri International Airport would be reduced. Land crossing from Syria will completely halted.

The council also requested all private hospitals to open dedicated sections for coronavirus treatment.

The state announced the closure of all educational institutions, schools, universities, sports stadiums, houses of worship, and the ban of all gatherings and events.

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