Lebanon priest flies over Beirut to bless country over coronavirus fears

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Lebanese Christian Maronite priest Majdi Allawi took to the skies above Beirut to bless the crisis-hit Mediterranean country and to protect it from the coronavirus as fear of its spread spikes.

"In our trip today, He (Christ) was with Lebanon in spirit to bless this country, to repel all epidemics, all sicknesses, all the pollution, to heal all of those that have the coronavirus,” Allawi said in an interview with AFP on a plane.

Lebanon declared on Sunday a state of health emergency and ordered a two-week lockdown as part of the country’s efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Father Allawi, a Christian convert after being born into Shia Islam, rented a private plane where he looked to the sky and prayed that God heals him “of all weaknesses.”

As of Sunday, Lebanon’s Ministry of Health said Lebanon had 99 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and urged citizens to remain at home “unless absolutely necessary.” Three patients are confirmed to have died from the virus in Lebanon.

Most of Lebanon’s cases have been linked to Iran, the epicenter of coronavirus in the Middle East with a death toll of 720 and nearly 14,000 infections, according to official figures.

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