Lebanon registered 1,563 new cases of COVID-19 and a further 10 deaths over the last 24 hours, pushing overall caseload to 686,725.
Likewise, the total death toll has reached to 8,824, and recoveries to 639,958, as per data released by the Ministry of Health on Friday.
Spike in the daily infections and deaths reported just a day after the Lebanese health ministry confirmed the first two cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
“Two cases detected in airport testing” were confirmed to be of the Omicron variant, Lebanese Health Minister Firass Abiad said.
Abiad said both passengers had flown in from the African continent and had been placed in quarantine.
The World Health Organization had earlier warned that the Omicron COVID-19 variant is “already everywhere” and travel bans will not stop its spread.
Dr. Hans Kluge, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, said bans on incoming flights did not work and were too late “because Omicron is already everywhere”.
Vaccines, masks, ventilation and treatments were the best way to curb virus – not travel restrictions, he suggested.
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