Lebanon lifted its coronavirus lockdown measures Monday, with traffic returning back to normal and businesses reopening throughout the country.
The Traffic Management Center reported traffic jams in several streets across Lebanon such as in Beirut, Sidon and Dbayeh, which had been quieter than normal in the last two weeks under lockdown.
Lebanon has witnessed an alarming surge in virus cases, with over 1,000 daily infections being recorded over the last month. Despite the high numbers, the Interior Ministry along with the ministerial coronavirus committee Sunday decided to reopen businesses in the country in a bid to ease the collapsing economy.
Caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hasan told reporters Sunday after the committee meeting the country "will gradually reopen from Monday" to give citizens and businesses a respite ahead of Christmas and end-of-year holidays.
Meanwhile, in the southern city of Sidon, owners of small shops and businesses are hoping the city could return to work especially with the holidays around the corner.
Small businesses in Lebanon have witnessed a significant decrease in activity over the last year, as the country grapples with its worst financial crisis since the Civil War, with business owners saying that lockdown exacerbated their economic challenges.
“I have started decorating my shop for Christmas, and I hope the situation will get better with the holidays coming up,” said Moustapha Abou Ayed, a shop owner in Sidon.
Public and private schools have also reopened in Sidon while reapplying the hybrid learning system, which is both online and in-class, and have taken the necessary preventive methods to avoid a spread of the virus between students.
“We are taking all the protective measures in the school by asking students to wear their masks, measuring their temperatures, and making sure that the school is well-sterilized,” said Osama Arnaout, principal of Bahaa al-Dine Hariri school.
The Education Ministry collaborated with the Health Ministry to distribute coronavirus awareness fliers to students to help them understand the basic information about the illness and the preventive measures that need to be followed.
Lebanon’s coronavirus death toll passed 1,000 Sunday, as the Health Ministry reported 13 new deaths and 1,266 new positive cases.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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