Lebanon round the clock lockdown begins as covid infections reach daily high

SourceThe Independent

Lebanon entered an 11-day round the clock curfew in a last-ditch attempt to rescue the country’s overwhelmed healthcare system, as ICU beds reached near full capacity and medics reported coronavirus patients being dumped at hospital doors or treated in their cars.The measures are among the toughest yet announced by any country and could signal what is to come for states struggling to deal with the new covid-19 variant. They require residents to request permission for an hour-long permit to leave the house for “emergencies”, including going to the bakery, pharmacist, hospital or airport. All supermarkets, stores and restaurants were also shuttered except for delivery.  Lebanese authorities announced the additional restrictions, in a country of more than six million people, as daily infections reached an all-time high of nearly 5,500 cases a day in the aftermath of the holiday season.

Health measures had been relaxed, allowing bars and restaurants to remain open, during the Christmas and the New Year period when tens of thousands of Lebanese expats flew back to the country for the celebrations.The World Health Organization said on Thursday that Intensive Care Unit beds across the country had reached 94 percent capacity while regular beds were at 85...read more...