Skip to main content

Lebanon returns to lockdown after post-explosion surge in virus

The country has registered all-time highs in daily new COVID-19 cases following the massive Aug. 4 explosion.
This picture taken on August 19, 2020 shows a view of the landmark Le Gray hotel in the centre of Lebanon's capital Beirut overlooking the Martyrs' Square, as a banner is hung across its facade reading in English "Stay strong! Together we shall riise once again, see you soon", and a giant Lebanese national flag hung over the facade of the neighbouring building, in the aftermath of the monster blast that ravaged the city earlier in August. (Photo by JOSEPH EID / AFP) (Photo by JOSEPH EID/AFP via Getty Images

Lebanon began a new lockdown on Friday after COVID-19 cases surged in the wake of the Beirut port explosion.

The Aug. 4 explosion left hundreds of thousands of people homeless and filled the hospitals. As preliminary investigations indicate a fertilizer known as ammonium nitrate caught fire and exploded in a warehouse, people have protested en masse over the government’s fateful decision to store the explosive material so close to Beirut’s downtown.

The new lockdown beginning on Friday includes a ban on movement from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Malls are closed and social gatherings are banned. Restaurants can provide only takeout and delivery services. Cleanup and recovery efforts related to the explosion can continue, according to the Lebanese news outlet Naharnet.

Cases continue to break records in Lebanon. On Thursday, the country registered an all-time high of 605 new cases, according to the Ministry of Public Health.

The entire Lebanese governmental cabinet resigned amid the fallout from the explosion, leaving a caretaker health minister in charge of leading the coronavirus response. The ministry is currently working to secure a potential vaccine from Russia in addition to instituting the new lockdown as part of its virus mitigation efforts.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Free

The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.

Free

What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing
Expert

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to pro.support@al-monitor.com and we'll onboard your team.

What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial