Lebanon, a nation torn apart by virus, incompetence

SourceGulf Today

Lebanon, a nation torn apart by virus, incompetence 2 hours ago Customers wearing face masks and gloves queue outside a supermarket, during a lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease in Beirut, Lebanon. File/Reuters Lebanon is gasping for breath. That appears to be the feeling among many residents in the country. However, the ruling regime appears to be keen on rectifying its sullied image, dogged by reports on maladministration and malversation. Lebanese authorities tightened a nationwide lockdown on Monday, including an 11-day, 24-hour curfew, amid a dramatic spiral in virus infections and growing criticism of uncoordinated policies many blame for the spread of the virus. News of the curbs sparked panic buying in corner shops and supermarkets.

People formed huge lines outside supermarkets to stock up on essential provisions, stoking fears the crowds could further spread the virus. Lebanon had only just announced a nationwide lockdown last week. But many, including the health minister and officials on a government committee, considered it to be too lenient because it exempted many sectors, such as florists, plant nurseries and factories. Hospitals, meanwhile, were running out of beds amid rapidly multiplying COVID-19 cases. Critics have said uncoordinated and hesitant policies wavering between relaxing restrictions and shutting down were...read more...