Latest on coronavirus outbreak

New virus strain spreading rapidly in Lebanon: Official

‘We do not have places for patients even in hospital emergencies,’ says health committee official

Naim Berjawi   | 15.01.2021
New virus strain spreading rapidly in Lebanon: Official

BEIRUT 

A new variant of the novel coronavirus is spreading rapidly in Lebanon, an official warned on Friday.


"Coronavirus tests conducted in two major laboratories in Lebanon showed a genetic mutation in the virus," Ali al-Miqdad, a member of the Health Committee at the Lebanese parliament, told official National News Agency.


He went on to say that 50% of the tests during the past days “confirmed the presence of a new variant of the virus."


On Dec. 25, Lebanese Caretaker Minister of Health Hamad Hassan announced that authorities detected the first case of new coronavirus variant on flight coming from London.


Al-Miqdad warned of the seriousness of the situation in Lebanon, adding: "We do not have places for patients even in hospital emergencies, and what is noticeable is the high rate of cases among the youth."


Last week, Lebanon saw a record rise in daily virus infections, as it reported more than 5,000 new virus cases daily.

The country has registered a total of 237,132 virus cases, including 1,781 deaths, and more than 144,000 recoveries.

Lebanon has declared a state of health emergency and imposed a curfew to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat


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