BEIRUT: Three new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Lebanon by the Health Ministry Monday, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 13.
The new COVID-19 infections resulted from contact with previously infected patients.
The Health Ministry confirmed that the new patients had been in contact with an infected Syrian national who was admitted Friday, the first locally transmitted case. The patient had come into contact with another patient who had flown in from Iran and transmitted the illness.
Reported cases in Lebanon have been increasing, with six new infections confirmed over the weekend.
On Saturday, three cases had been diagnosed. One of the cases was the wife of an infected Iranian national who flew into Lebanon. The other two cases confirmed Saturday were a son and a friend of the Syrian national diagnosed Friday.
In a bid to curtail the spread of the illness, Lebanon Friday banned the entry of passengers from countries with a large outbreak of the coronavirus. The countries listed are: China, South Korea, Iran and Italy. The decision went into effect 12 a.m. Saturday.
But Lebanese citizens and foreigners residing in Lebanon will be exempt from this decision.
Two flights from Iran and a flight from Italy arrived in Beirut Monday. A medical team from the Health Ministry was sent to the flights to check the passengers for coronavirus symptoms. No unusual conditions were reported among the passengers.
The state-run National News Agency reported Monday evening that a bus coming from Syria carrying 30 people Monday had been turned back at the Al-Qaa border crossing because of a “suspected” infection. There has been no official restriction placed on Syrian travel and no official cases of the virus have been officially declared.
The Health Ministry has called on all those coming to Lebanon from countries with a large outbreak of the virus, to fully comply with instructions of self-quarantine at their homes.
If any symptoms are detected, people are urged to call the ministry’s hotline 76-592699.
The first three patients infected with coronavirus in Lebanon were traveling from Iran, where there is currently a large outbreak.