Lebanon to restrict entry from key coronavirus-hit countries

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Lebanon announced Friday it would bar entry to non-resident foreigners from the four countries most affected by the coronavirus outbreak, a day after announcing its third case.

The Middle Eastern country will deny entry to people arriving from China, South Korea, Iran and Italy, the state news agency reported, without saying when the measure would come into effect.

All airlines operating flights to Beirut have been notified of the ban, which does not affect Lebanese citizens or foreigners holding a residency permit, the agency added.

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Education Minister Tarek Majzoub on Friday ordered the closure of all schools, universities and other educational institutions in the country until March 8.

Lebanon’s health ministry on Thursday confirmed another coronavirus case. All three individuals infected -- two Lebanese and an Iranian -- arrived recently from Iran, the worst-hit country in the region.

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Despite government efforts to reassure the Lebanese, videos have circulated on social media denouncing what users say are insufficient screenings for the virus at Beirut’s international airport.

Iran on Friday reported 34 deaths from COVID-19, with the Islamic republic second only to China, where the outbreak was first reported, in terms of fatalities.

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