BEIRUT — The head of the national committee on COVID-19 vaccines Abdul Rahman Bizri said Monday that despite the growing numbers of COVID-19 cases, he “does not lean towards a lockdown because it is a temporary solution and would have economic and educational consequences,” the Health Ministry reported on its website.
Here’s what we know:
• Bizri also noted that the new COVID-19 variant Omicron “is highly contagious but its cases are not severe, except for some cases.” Bizi urged “everyone to take the vaccine.”
• On Sunday, Health Minister Firass Abiad said that “he is ready to make the decision to close the country if the spread of the coronavirus accelerates.” Abiad added that “the decision to close the country is being carefully studied based on the figures and data available, and we are reflecting on the question of the duration of such a closure, especially since the situation in Lebanon cannot support it.”
• In a series of tweets on Dec. 31, Abiad indicated that “more than 100 ICU beds (30 percent of previous capacity) were made available in the past two weeks” and added that “more will be added this week.”
• Lebanon recorded 1,445 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday with an ICU occupancy rate of 76 percent. New daily case numbers exceeded 4,000 on Thursday and Friday and were above 3,000 on Wednesday and Saturday.