Thursday, April 9
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Prime Minister, Dr. Hassan Diab, said during the press conference held this evening at the Grand Serail after the meeting of the Coronavirus Follow-up Committee:

"As you may know, Lebanon was among the first countries to take tough action on the coronavirus. From the onset, we have established a Special Committee to follow up on the coronavirus. The Committee has followed up on all cases and taken many bold actions.

As usual, the government was loudly attacked, especially when it took the decision to shut down schools and universities and to adopt stringent measures concerning flights to certain countries.

We have also taken strict measures at Rafic Hariri Airport in Beirut and have preceded other counties of the region in taking relevant precautionary measures.

Today, we are facing a disease that is spreading all over the world. The disease is widespread in countries with great potential, despite the action which is being taken.

The entire world is currently facing this challenge, and the government has not been late in taking any measures aimed at protecting the Lebanese. Nevertheless, some have resorted to political point scoring, whereas we are all required to rise to the level of national responsibility in this critical and sensitive period, for protecting the Lebanese in response to the outbreak of this disease is what is urgently required."

On the other hand, the Committee for the Follow-up of Anti-Coronavirus Preventive Measures and Actions held a meeting this afternoon at the Grand Serail and issued the following recommendations:

"At 16:00 hours, the Committee for the Follow-up of Anti-Coronavirus Preventive Measures and Actions held a meeting chaired by Major General Mahmoud Al-Asmar and attended by a representative of the President of the Republic, Dr. Walid Al-Khoury, and the advisor of the Prime Minister, Dr. Petra Khoury, as well as other members. The meeting resulted in the following recommendations:

At the internal level:

1. Establish a rotational shift work for public sector employees (with the exception of all military and security services as well as medical and health institutions) in a way that ensures continuity of work, implementation of necessary transactions for citizens and adoption of necessary measures to prevent overcrowding in public departments.

2. Communicate with all private institutions (except medical and health institutions) to take measures aimed at organizing rotational shift work to a minimum level in a way that ensures continuity of work in all productive sectors and guarantees workers' rights.

3. Ban gatherings in public and private spaces, and close cafes, restaurants, bars, public parks and shopping centers (except for food sales outlets) - tourist and archaeological sites, grottoes, ski centers, leisure and amusement facilities of all kinds, as well as clubs, public and private sports stadiums, swimming pools, health resorts, etc.

4. Re-engage with all religious authorities in order to take maximum action to limit gatherings in places of worship and relevant facilities.

5. Require all citizens, especially the elderly, to stay at home and go out only for work and when absolutely necessary.

6. Require all citizens to refrain from partaking in all social events and gatherings, both indoors and outdoors; all concerts, parties, events, conferences and meetings of all kinds shall be cancelled.

7. Urge private hospitals to accelerate readiness.

At the external level:

1. Suspension of all flights (air, land and sea travel) to and from the following States: Italy - South Korea - Iran - China (Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan Province of China) for one week from the date of issuance of the present decision.

2. Suspension of the entry by air, land or sea of all persons arriving from countries experiencing the outbreak of the new Coronavirus (France, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and other countries), with the exception of diplomatic missions accredited in Lebanon, international organizations, Lebanese citizens and members of Lebanese families who have not yet received Lebanese citizenship or residency in Lebanon and UNIFIL, while giving them 4 days to return to Lebanon.

3. After the expiry of the 4-day deadline, all flights from the aforementioned countries shall be suspended, and Lebanese wishing to return have to communicate with Lebanese embassies in relevant countries, so that the appropriate measures can be taken at the right time in coordination with the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (these procedures do not apply to transit passengers).

Note: After the expiry of the 4-day deadline, items 2 and 3 shall enter into force for a period of one week as of the issuance of the relevant decision.

4. Lebanese and foreign visitors returning to Lebanon from the countries mentioned in Items 1 and 2, who did not show symptoms of the disease, must abide by domestic isolation for 14 days and communicate with the Ministry of Public Health in the event of any symptoms.

Implementing Entities: All ministries, where appropriate.

The Committee shall keep its meetings open to follow up on developments and to take appropriate action in a timely manner"

Source: National News Agency