Lebanon reports highest single day coronavirus case tally days after Beirut explosion

A Lebanese Red Cross member walks among the debris from damaged buildings following Tuesday's blast in Beirut's port area, Lebanon August 5, 2020. (Reuters)

Lebanon recorded 279 coronavirus cases on Friday – its highest single-day infection tally – after the deadly Beirut explosion further strained an already struggling healthcare system.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Lebanon stood at 5,951, the number of recovered patients at 2,042, and the death toll at 70, according to Lebanon’s daily coronavirus report.

Visit our dedicated coronavirus site here for all the latest updates.

The Middle Eastern country which was already reeling from an unprecedented economic crisis and a surge in coronavirus infections, was struck by the massive explosion at the Port of Beirut on Tuesday which killed at least 154 people and injured more than 5,000.

The blast was so intense it smashed masonry, shattered windows, sucked furniture out of apartments onto the streets and left almost 300,000 people in disaster-stricken Beirut without homes fit to live in, according to Lebanese officials.

The explosion also meant many people forgot about their face masks as they crammed into vehicles, sometimes riding with strangers, en route to hospitals which were also damaged by the explosion.

Lebanon's hospitals were – for the first time in months – overwhelmed with cases other than COVID-19, with some having to turn away the wounded because they were already full.

Since the explosion, people have crowded into the hardest hit districts to inspect their damaged homes and businesses, or as volunteers in cleanup efforts.

The blast forced authorities to suspend a lockdown that was supposed to last until August 10.

- With AFP

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Last Update: Saturday, 08 August 2020 KSA 23:36 - GMT 20:36
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