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 1-28 February 2021.
CUMULATIVE KEY FIGURES (as of 28 February)
375,033 (73,849 new) confirmed cases (during the reporting period of 1-28 February)
4,692 (1,598 new) deaths
291,590 (108,327 new) recovered
2,945,145 (411,156 new) PCR tests conducted*
Sources: WHO/MoPH daily report on COVID-19
*Lebanon National Operations Room daily report on COVID-19
In February, an additional 73,849 people were infected with the COVID-19, bringing the total number of reported cases since 21 February 2020 to 375,033 (54 per cent male). Overall, 2,550 healthcare workers have been infected (55 per cent female), mostly working in institutions dealing with the COVID-19 response. Further, a total of 4,692 deaths were registered (38 per cent female). The average local test positivity rate in February was at 16.6 per cent, compared to 19.3 per cent during January.
Lebanon is in phase four of the outbreak, where community transmission is well confirmed.
In February, 2,219 additional Palestine refugees were confirmed as positive with the COVID-19. A total of 7,068 Palestine refugees, 4,097 (58 per cent) of whom are living in camps, have been confirmed as positive with the COVID-19, including 228 deaths, since February 2020. Further, 3,626 Syrian refugees and 32 refugees of other nationalities have tested positive for the COVID-19, including 139 deaths. So far, 371 cases have been detected in informal settlements, of whom 150 have recovered.
On 6 February, the Government announced the gradual relaxation of the lockdown measures in four phases, starting the first phase on 8 February with some sectors, including factories and banks, opened and the general curfew still imposed. In the second phase that started on 22 February, additional sectors, including tourism offices, car mechanics, dry cleaning, construction sites, opened at 50 per cent capacity, with permissions obtained through the IMPACT platform. In line with discussions between the Humanitarian Coordinator and the Prime Minister Office, the UN and NGOs could continue implementing critical humanitarian activities using the online platform on the condition of submitting weekly plans of activities through the Humanitarian Coordinator.
The Government of Lebanon officially released the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan in February. In line with the plan, the vaccination campaign has started across Lebanon on 14 February for the first priority group, namely health workers and people above 75 years old. As of 28 February, Lebanon had received 101,790 doses from Pfizer, with more doses expected to arrive on a weekly basis. Further, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) granted emergency use authorization for AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Sputnik to be introduced through the private sector. The details on the private sector procurement is being discussed. Finally, UN and NGOs started discussions with the MoPH on possible supports for the national vaccination campaign.
As of 28 February, 50,514 have been vaccinated, among 72,350 people who were given appointment through the IMPACT platform. The priority is still given to health care workers and persons above 75 years of age. About 97 per cent of those vaccinated are Lebanese, with 349 Syrians (0.5 per cent), 1219 Palestinians (1.68 per cent) and 388 people from other nationalities (0.5 per cent).
A total of nine community isolation sites were active as of 28 February with 178 beds occupied out of 522 available beds. Given the underutilization of these centres, the Disaster Risk Management (DRM) unit and relevant UN agencies started to discuss with the National Coordinating Committee about possible repurposing of some of these centres as rehabilitation/step-down facilities for patients who still need some level of active monitoring and administration of treatment but do not require to remain hospitalized.
As of 28 February, the occupancy rate of COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) beds was 83 per cent (912 occupied beds out of a total of 1,104 dedicated ICU beds), with 74 additional ICU beds added in February. The UN and NGOs have continued supporting the MoPH to increase the beds capacity through providing additional ICU beds, equipment, and human resources.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.