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2 week extension of shutdown in Lebanon and Iraq

Voice of Lebanon radio reported after the council met on Thursday that Lebanon’s supreme defense council has advised the government to extend by two weeks a countrywide shutdown to curb the spread of the Coronavirus,

A two-week extension would keep the country closed until April 12. Lebanon has recorded 333 cases of Coronavirus and six deaths. A decision was expected to be taken at a cabinet meeting on Thursday.

In addition, the Iraqi government said Thursday that it will extend a countrywide lockdown it imposed in response to the Coronavirus pandemic until April 11.

Schools, universities, shopping centers and other large gathering places will remain closed, as will the country’s international airports.

Authorities have confirmed that at least 29 Iraqis have died from COVID-19 and nearly 350 others have contracted the disease.

But there are fears the real number is much higher, as only around 2,000 of Iraq’s 40 million people have been tested.

Authorities have struggled to enforce previous curfews.