The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) confirmed today, March 22, there have been no new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) among refugees in Lebanon.
“Until now we have not recorded any infection among the refugees with the emerging coronavirus,” UNHCR’s External Relations Officer Lisa Abu Khaled said in a statement.
She added that the UNHCR has strengthened its preventive and response measures to take into account the health of refugees and humanitarian workers across the country.
The UN and the UNHCR are working closely with the relevant Lebanese authorities to strengthen the capacity of health care to ensure all infected patients receive the necessary services.
Over the past month, the UNHCR has worked to spread awareness and information in refugee communities and at the individual level to counter the spread of the virus.
The UNHCR is urgently seeking an initial $33 million to boost the preparedness, prevention, and response activities to address the immediate public health needs of refugees amid the pandemic.
The Lebanese Ministry of Health announced that the country’s current cases indicate a rapid commencement of the deployment phase of the virus. The ministry stressed the implementation of all preventive measures, especially adherence to complete domestic quarantine.
The Ministry of Health stated that any leniency in applying these rules warrants legal and criminal prosecution and a large fine.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab said the number of COVID-19 cases in Lebanon jumped to 230 despite calls almost a week ago for all to remain at home.