Lebanon’s General Directorate of the Internal Security Forces announced Thursday that 535 coronavirus cases have been reported in the country’s largest prison, Roumieh, following tests on 1,706 inmates.
Lebanon has been struggling to contain the spread of the virus, reporting a daily rate of infections of 1,600 in the past two weeks. Earlier this week it announced a two-week nationwide lockdown to contain the outbreak.
The ISF explained that 67 positive cases were registered at the detention center at the Beirut Justice Palace. One patient is being treated at hospital and 464 have already recovered.
It said that infections were also reported in other prisons, including Batroun Prison in the north, where four cases were registered and 17 have recovered. The ISF said two cases were reported in the Zahle prison, saying they were in stable condition.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Public Health announced 1,874 new coronavirus infections and 12 more deaths across Lebanon in the past 24 hours.
During a press conference on Thursday, caretaker Minister of Public Health Hamad Hassan called on citizens to respect preventive measures, including wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.
Caretaker Information Minister Nada Abdel Samad announced that the situation is dangerous.
“Yesterday, we were coping with 96,900 cases, but today they have climbed to 99,000. In other words, for every 100 people, two are infected. For every 50, one may be infected and may spread the virus to two, three or more people,” she said.
Deaths are also on the rise, with an average of 11 being reported daily, she added. The health sector has also not been spared the virus, with 17 infections being reported among medical staff. Three have died from the virus and 250 are in isolation.