Coronavirus: STAY HOME message appears on Lebanese mobile phones

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MTC Touch, one of Lebanon’s two mobile telecommunications providers, has changed its network name to “STAY HOME,” in an attempt to promote social distancing.

The warning comes as Lebanon enters partial lock down amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more: Coronavirus: Lebanon declares state of emergency, orders two-week lockdown

After an emergency Cabinet session on Sunday, Information Minister Manal Abdel-Samad advised citizens against leaving the house unless it was “absolutely essential.”

Around 90 percent of businesses, including malls, shops, restaurants, and movie theaters have closed down. Exceptions to the lockdown of companies include food shops, gas stations, pharmacies and other medical institutions.

As of today, all land, sea, and air borders are closed for all but essential operations until March 29. The airport remains open for air cargo, diplomats, and UNIFIL staff.

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Touch user Kenny Rahal believes that the MTC Touch warning is having its intended effect.

"When I saw it first thing in the morning I was so shocked,” Rahal said. “But then I realized that I wasn’t alone in this… But it also is annoying to have a warning like this on your mind all the time.”

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