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Lebanese Supreme Defense Council Recommends Extension of Coronavirus Lockdown

Lebanon’s Supreme Defense Council on Thursday recommended that the cabinet extends the state of general mobilization decided on March 15 until April 26 over the outbreak of novel coronavirus.

The Council convened at Baabda Presidential Palace and was chaired by President Michel Aoun, National News Agency (NNA) reported.

The session was attended by Prime Minister Hassan Diab and Ministers of National Defense, Foreign and Expatriates, Interior and Municipalities, Economy and Trade, Justice, Public Works and Transportation, and Public Health, Secretary General of Supreme Defense Council Major General Mohamed Al-Asmar said in a statement after the meeting.

Several military and security officials also attended the session at Baabda Palace.

President Aoun started the session with a brief presentation on procedures and measures taken to contain the spread of the pandemic, Al-Asmar said, adding that the president also stressed the importance of focusing on numbers and statistics, “which are the basis for making the appropriate decision.”

For his part, PM Diab presented a general evaluation on the measures and procedures taken, through which he considered right, and indicated that some measures will be increased in accordance with the data, results and statistics received from the Health Ministry, especially those related to the issue of Lebanese expatriates returning from corona-hit countries.

“The Prime Minister also briefed the attendees on the recommendation issued by the committee concerned with following up the procedures to prevent Corona Virus, which stipulated the extension of public mobilization, until 26/4/2020,” Al-Asmar added in the statement.

Also during the session, Health Minister Hamad Hasan presented the healthcare and hospital conditions, stressing the need to abide by social distancing measures including staying at home and preventing gatherings. In this context, Hasan stressed that it’s not the time to relax measures, saying that Lebanon “is still in the midst of the storm.”

After listening to competent ministers, and heads of security apparatuses, the Council decided to submit an end to the Council of Ministers to extend the general mobilization until Sunday, 26th April 2020, at 24:00h.

The council recommended the government to activate decisions regarding suspending work between 7pm and 5am (except for some institutions) and regarding the timing of cars and trucks according to plate numbers, the statement read by Al-Asmar added.

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