Lebanon confirms first case of coronavirus

COVID-19 virus found in 45-year-old Lebanese woman who had travelled from Qom in Iran.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Coronavirus positive
Coronavirus positive

The first case of the novel coronavirus in Lebanon was confirmed on Friday, the country’s health minister said, according to AFP.

"We confirmed the first case today," the minister, Hassan Hamad, said at a press conference in Beirut.

The COVID-19 virus was found in a 45-year-old Lebanese woman who had travelled from Qom in Iran, he said.

A medical source at the hospital where the woman is being treated told AFP that she returned from Iran with a high fever, but that her immunity was good and her condition stable.

Hamad said that all the people who were on the same flight from Iran had been contacted by the health authorities.

He said that anyone returning from Iran would be asked to observe a two-week home quarantine.

Two other suspected cases in Lebanon are being investigated as well, according to AFP.

The COVID-19 outbreak first appeared in Iran on Wednesday. Tehran has now confirmed a total of four deaths and 18 infections by the virus, which first emerged in China in late December.

Thousands of Lebanese travel to Iran every year to visit Shiite holy sites in Qom and other cities.

Following the outbreak of the virus in Iran, Iraq decided to suspend the entry of Iranian citizens and prevent the travel of Iraqis to Iran.

The United Arab Emirates last month became the first country in the Middle East to report cases of the coronavirus strain.

Egypt has also reported cases, the first of which was recorded last week.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)