Lebanon’s Higher Defense Council recommended on Friday to extend general mobilization in the country for six months, the latest move taken by Lebanese authorities in a bid to try to stem the outbreak of coronavirus.
The Higher Defense Council convened at Baabda Presidential Palace on Friday, in a session headed by President Michel Aoun and attended by caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab, caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hasan and other ministers and officials.
Initially active until March 31st, the general mobilization will now remain in effect until the end of September 2021.
The Council instructed security forces to be strict in enforcing the commitment to precautionary measures including wearing face masks in public.
It also tasked minister Hamad Hasan to continue his communication with the companies that are manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines to secure more vaccines while also allowing the private sector to import vaccines under the supervision of the Health Ministry.
Hasan was additionally tasked with pursuing the necessary measures to avoid the depletion of oxygen in hospitals.
Talking at the beginning of the session, President Aoun pointed to the increasing number of coronavirus infections and fatalities.
The President called for determining the current situation of infections, deaths and vaccinations, to face the expected third wave of the virus, which necessitates strengthening the clinical capacity in hospitals, especially intensive care units, National News Agency quoted Aoun as saying.
In addition, the Lebanese president addressed the issue of repercussions of Beirut Port blast, and the compensations which must be secured for those who were affected in the tragic explosion. In this context, he announced that he will specialized 50% of his presidential exceptional funds for 2021 to those affected in August 4 blast.
For his part, caretaker PM Diab said the country is passing through exceptional circumstance on all levels.
The health, financial, social and living conditions “are due to the exceptional political situation which continues to prevent the formation of a new government to tackle these conditions by resuming the reform workshop, thus negotiating with the International Monetary Fund, on the basis of these reforms and on the basis of the plan of the resigned government.”
He warned against delay in forming the new government, noting that “this means revolving in a vicious circle. It also means that all measures which can be taken to address these exceptional circumstances are analgesics for pain, which do not address the real cause.”
Diab, meanwhile, slammed Lebanese citizens who are not abiding by coronavirus precautionary measures, warning that the country is heading towards a third wave.
Source: Al-Manar English Website and NNA