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Lebanon says COVID cases rising, beds won’t suffice

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Lebanon will not have enough hospital beds to cope with increasing COVID-19 cases, the health minister in the caretaker government warned on Thursday, saying compliance with a two-week lockdown that ended this week had been patchy.

In a Tweet, Hamad Hassan said cases were on the rise and although more hospital beds had been added, these would not be enough.

Intensive care units were at critical capacity when Lebanon ordered the lockdown and caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab had warned the shutdown may be extended if people did not comply.

The health ministry said on Wednesday 1,842 COVID-19 cases and 22 deaths had been recorded in the past 24 hours. Recorded deaths due to COVID-19 total 1,055 in the country of 6 million, where healthcare is deteriorating.

On top of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lebanon is in the throes of a major financial and economic crisis and still grappling with the aftermath of the Aug. 4 explosion at Beirut port.

Main Photo: An anti-government protester wears a protective mask designed as a national flag amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Beirut, Lebanon. EPA-EFE/WAEL HAMZEH

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