Lebanon will bring in a 24-hour curfew on Thursday, intensifying an existing lockdown to curb a surge in coronavirus cases. For the first time it will also include food stores, which will only be allowed to open for delivery.
In a National Supreme Council meeting, the Prime Minister of the caretaker government Hassan Diab said: “Unfortunately, we are facing a frightening health situation, the coronavirus pandemic has spiraled out of control due to the stubbornness of people and their insurgence against lockdown measures which we have taken.”
Here’s where things stand elsewhere in the Middle East:
Jordan received its first batch of the Pfizer/BioNtec vaccine on Monday, two days after receiving its first delivery of China’s Sinopharm vaccine, state-news agency Petra said quoting the Minister of Health, Natheer Obeidat.
Obeidat said that vaccinations will start as early as Wednesday with vulnerable groups, including the elderly with chronic diseases and frontline health workers to be vaccinated as a priority.
The United Arab Emirates has surpassed one million doses of vaccine administered, according to data from the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority. These doses have mainly gone to frontline workers, according to state news agency WAM. The UAE is the second highest country in vaccinations rates globally after Israel.
The country has just been removed from the UK’s travel corridor list due to rising cases there.
Egypt will receive its first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine within three weeks, with the government expecting to issue emergency approval this week, the Health Minister Hala Zayed said in a news conference on Monday.
The country has been facing a resurge in coronavirus cases over the past two months, amidst relaxed measures and restrictions.
Algeria will be receiving its first batch of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine in the coming few days, Health Ministry spokesman Djamel Fourar said on Monday, according to state-owned Algeria Press Service.
Algeria is the first African nation to register Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for emergency use, according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund.
Iran is planning to import almost 2 million doses of vaccines from India, Russia and China by the end of the first quarter of the year, the head of the Iran’s Medical Council said on Monday.
“The Iran-made vaccine is much safer than many of the foreign versions,” Mohammadreza Zafarghandi said according to state news agency IRNA. But because production of the Iranian vaccine will take time, Iran intends to import two million doses of vaccines by the end of March, IRNA said.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said he does not trust coronavirus vaccines produced by the Western countries and called on officials to prohibit American and British vaccines from entering the country.