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 9-31 December 2020.
Between 9 and 31 December, an additional 48,648 people were infected with the COVID-19, bringing the total number of reported cases since 21 February 2020 to 163,306 (54 per cent male). Overall, 2,245 healthcare workers have been infected (55 per cent female), mostly working in institutions dealing with the COVID-19 response. Further, a total of 1,535 deaths were registered (34.3 per cent female). The average local test positivity rate during the reporting period was at 13.5 per cent, while the positivity including testing at points of entry was 13.3 per cent. The increase of transmission in December coincided with the holiday season, which involved many gatherings and social events, with preventive measures loosened.
Lebanon is in phase four of the outbreak, where community transmission is well confirmed.
During the reporting period, 406 additional Palestine refugees were confirmed as positive with the COVID-19. A total of 3,614 Palestine refugees, 1,903 (53 per cent) of whom are living in camps, have been confirmed as positive with the COVID19, including 141 deaths, since 21 February. As of 31 December, 241 people were in home-isolation, 49 in hospitals, and 11 in Sibline isolation centre. Since the beginning of the outbreak, 2,339 Syrian refugees and 16 refugees of other nationalities have tested positive for the COVID19, including 1,529 recoveries and 90 deaths, with an increase of 309 cases during the reporting period. So far, 157 cases have been detected in informal settlements, of whom 116 have recovered.
On 13 December, the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities (MoIM) issued another circular on amendment of preventive measures and procedures: additional sectors, including bars, coffee shops and night clubs, are allowed to open; public and private gatherings allowed with limited capacity; and the curfew imposed between 23.30- 05.00. Prior to the holiday season, further relaxation of the measures was introduced on 21 December, with the curfew time changed to 03.00-05.00, which was effective untill 1 January.
A total of nine community isolation sites were active as of December 31- Abbassiyeh (30 beds), Ain w Zain (18 beds), Lebanese Canadian Hospital (80 beds), Maad Isolation Centre (42 beds), Modern tourist village (60 beds), Mraijat Isolation Centre (20 beds), Sibline Medical Centre (48 beds), Tayouneh centre (58 beds), Wardanieh (29 beds), with 67 beds occupied out of 385 available beds.
New outbreaks were reported in three additional elderly homes (Dar Al Saada Elderly Home in Zahle, Sayde Elderly Home and Der Salib Elderly Home in Broumana). In cooperation with the authorities, the UN and NGOs have supported these facilities to contain the outbreaks through dispatching registered nurses and procuring personal protective equipment (PPE).
As of December 31, the occupancy rate of COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) beds was 88.9 per cent (458 occupied beds out of a total of 515 dedicated ICU beds). The UN and NGOs have been supporting the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) to increase the beds capacity, through providing additional ICU beds, equipment, and human resources support.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.