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Lebanese hoarding food as 11-day, 24-hour lockdown announced

Lebanese, some wearing protective masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, shop at a market in the Sabra neighbourhood of Beirut on 6 January 2021. [ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images]
Lebanese, some wearing protective masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, shop at a market in the Sabra neighbourhood of Beirut on 6 January 2021. [ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images]

Lebanese people lined up outside supermarkets and grocery stores in the capital Beirut and other cities to stock up on food as the government announced a tightening of its lockdown yesterday, introducing a 24-hour curfew from Thursday as COVID-19 infections overwhelm its medical system, Reuters reported.

The new all-day curfew starts at 5am (03.00 GMT) on Thursday and ends at 5am on 25 January, a statement by the Supreme Defence Council said.

Long lines of shoppers formed outside supermarkets and fruit and vegetable stalls following reports they would only be allowed to take orders for delivery amid the tightened lockdown.

The government committee tasked with following up on the coronavirus pandemic and putting preventive measures in place on Sunday recommended the imposition of a comprehensive lockdown for at least one week to break the infection cycle.

"We have seen dreadful scenes of citizens waiting in front of hospitals for a chair or a bed," President Michel Aoun said in a statement.

The new measures also include stricter procedures at the airport for passengers arriving from Egypt, Ethiopia and Turkey, with passengers having to quarantine for seven days at a hotel while all others will quarantine up to 72 hours.

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