Lebanon News

Sidon residents protest against lockdown extension

SIDON, Lebanon: People in Sidon, south of Lebanon took to the streets Saturday to protest against the recent lockdown extension imposed by authorities in a bid to relieve the health care sector as coronavirus cases surge.

A group of activists in Sidon marched from the “revolution square” by the Elia intersection, where they held a protest, toward the Sidon Serail to voice their anger toward the decision of the Higher Defense Council to extend the total lockdown until Feb. 8 as most Lebanese live with daily incomes and are currently suffering in the absence of any financial assistance from the state.

The protest was carried out during a total lockdown with an all-day curfew in place during which only a handful of sectors are allowed to operate.

Activist Suheil al-Sous told The Daily Star that they were forced to take to the streets “as people are going hungry and corruption in the country is rampant ... the dollar has gone up and the prices have sky-rocketed.”

The activist said that this lockdown will “kill people.”

“If they [authorities] want us to be in isolation, then they need to provide us with assistance ... we don’t want money, we want food so we stay alive,” he said.

Sous added that if the state cannot provide the vulnerable and those living on daily wages with help, then they should be allowed to work to survive.

Meanwhile according to the state-run National News agency, another group of people blocked the Tripoli-Minieh highway, north of Lebanon, with trucks for the same reason.

Lebanon is going through its worst economic and health crisis as both sectors near collapse. The country has been witnessing an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks that has prompted the government to impose a harsh lockdown to relieve the health care sector as death rates also rise.

However the state fell short in its strategy as it lacked efficient assistance to vulnerable people or those who live through daily income who stopped working during the lockdown.

“They made everyone leave the country, there is no hope in this nation,” the activist said.

 

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