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Lebanon declares a curfew for unvaccinated citizens

Protesters gather in front of the 'October 17 torch' near the devastated port of Beirut, during a rally to mark the second anniversary of the beginning of a nationwide anti-government protest movement, on October 17, 2021. (Anwar Amro/AFP)
Protesters gather in front of the 'October 17 torch' near the devastated port of Beirut, during a rally to mark the second anniversary of the beginning of a nationwide anti-government protest movement, on October 17, 2021. (Anwar Amro/AFP)

Lebanon declares a nighttime curfew for its unvaccinated ahead of the holiday season. Its health minister says it is one of the country’s measures to stem a recent rise in coronavirus infections and a precaution against the new variant.

Lebanon has not recorded any infections with Omicron, but the small country enduring a severe financial crisis is concerned its health care system won’t be handle a new peak of infections.

Lebanese Health Minister Firass Abiad says the COVID committee wants to avoid imposing a full lockdown and hopes to encourage more people to get vaccinated.

The new measures make it obligatory for public servants, security, military, health, education and tourism sectors workers to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 10 or get a PCR test at their own expense twice a week. Otherwise, they risk losing their jobs, says Abiad.

Lebanon has witnessed a 34% increase in recorded infections in the past week, with an average of over 1,000 infections daily. A country of nearly 6 million, Lebanon has documented around 670,000 infections and nearly 9,000 deaths since 2020.

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