This report is prepared by OCHA, on behalf of and in collaboration with UN agencies and partners involved in COVID-19 response efforts in Lebanon. The report covers the period from 24 June to 7 July 2020.
• During the reporting period from 24 June to 7 July, an additional 285 people have been confirmed as infected with the COVID-19. This brings the total number of reported cases since 21 February 2020 to 1,907, of whom 57 per cent are male and 43 per cent female (as of 7 July 2020). This includes 93 healthcare workers, of which 56 workers (60 per cent) are female, mostly working in institutions dealing with the COVID-19 response, and 36 deaths, of which 25 (70 per cent) are male. So far, about 32 per cent of confirmed cases were among returned expatriates, while 68 per cent are local residents.
Further, a total of 107 chains of transmission has been detected so far, of which five are active.
• Confirmed cases have been traced with limited local transmission and Lebanon is still in phase 3 of the COVID-19 outbreak.
• Two additional Palestine refugees living in Shatila refugee camp were confirmed COVID-19 positive and transferred to Sibline isolation centre for monitoring and recovering, while two family members who have been in close contact with the patients are quarantined in the centre. A total of 17 Palestine refugees have been confirmed as positive with COVID-19 since 21 February.
Further, 117 Syrian refugees living in urban areas have tested positive for COVID-19, including one death, with no infections to date in informal settlements.
• On 30 June, the government extended the national state of ‘general mobilization’ against coronavirus by another one month until 2 August for the seventh time, while lifting the curfew from midnight to 05.00. On 1 July, Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport re-opened for commercial flights beginning July 1, with 10 per cent of air traffic capacity in comparison to a year ago (2,000 passengers daily).
• Among the 38 isolation centres approved by the government, five centres (349 bed capacity) - Koura Residence in the North, Makassed School in Majdal Anjar, Roumieh Central Prison, Sibline, and Tal Hayat in Akkar - are operational, and 16 others (915 beds capacity) are still under preparation.
• In cooperation with the UN, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) is carrying out random polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing of 4,000 people (both refugees and non-refugees) in Palestine refugee camps in an effort to ascertain the nationwide spread of COVID-19. During the reporting period, about 1,000 samples (an average of 50-120 tests per camp) have been taken. Additionally, a PCR testing campaign for Syrian refugees living in overcrowded settings (informal settlements and collective shelters) was completed with a total of 3,599 samples collected across the country, and all test results have been negative.
• Procurement of the first batch of food parcels was finalized and dispatched to warehouses, while the UN is targeting the most vulnerable households per district, based on information on referrals of Lebanese households affected by the economic and COVID-19 crises from local institutions. The distribution of in-kind food parcels to 50,000 Lebanese households is scheduled to start in the week of 20 July for a duration of six months.
• Given the economic situation, the Government delayed its financial contribution to non-communicable disease and acute medications (about 40 per cent of the required funding). Further, the stock of medication is rapidly exhausted, and around US$11 million gap is anticipated in 2021.
• The COVID-19 and economic crisis are negatively affecting hospital care. Most hospitals cut down their bed capacity by at least 40 per cent and face shortages of medical supplies due to restrictions in foreign currency. Further, more than 850 nurses have already lost jobs since October 2019.
• Increased power cuts are negatively impacting some hospitals’ operations, including Rafiq Hariri University Hospital (RHUH) that closed down some departments and operation rooms due to the shortage in electricity supply.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.