Coronavirus: Lebanon sees record number of new cases in the aftermath of Beirut blast

People wearing face masks walk outside Rafik Hariri hospital, where Lebanon's first coronavirus case is being quarantined, in Beirut, Lebanon February 21, 2020. (Reuters)

Lebanon registered a record number of new coronavirus cases Tuesday as the upward trend of new cases continues and the country faces an economic disaster after last week's deadly port blasts.

The country's health ministry said that 309 new cases were confirmed: 303 local and six confirmed cases from Lebanese expatriates. Seven new deaths were registered.

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Over the last 24 hours, 4,464 PCR tests were conducted for locals in labs and 1,518 other tests in airports over the same period of the time, the ministry said. Since Feb. 21, a total of 371,486 PCR tests were conducted in labs.

This brings the total number of active cases in Lebanon to 4,657. There have been 7,121 confirmed cases in Feb.21, with 2,377 recoveries and 87 deaths.

Beirut, which was already reeling from an unprecedented economic crisis and a surge in coronavirus infections, was struck by a massive explosion at the Port of Beirut last week, killing at least 170 people and injuring over 6,000. Dozens are still missing.

Read more: US contractor inspected Port of Beirut in 2016, warned about explosive chemicals: NYT

The explosion damaged large parts of hospitals that were faced with an onslaught on injured victims from the blast.

The hospitals were – for the first time in months – overwhelmed with cases other than coronavirus. This forced some hospitals to ask less severe patients to leave, while also turning away some wounded because they were already full.

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Last Update: Tuesday, 11 August 2020 KSA 21:17 - GMT 18:17
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