First case of coronavirus reported in Lebanon
- Health Minister Hamad Hassan announced in an emergency news conference on Friday that a woman who arrived from Iran on Thursday is carrying the coronavirus. The woman is currently quarantined in the Rafic Hariri Hospital.
- Hassan stated that two other suspected cases are currently being monitored. He also noted the ministry is in contact with the 100+ passengers who arrived on that flight from Iran. They have been instructed to remain at home for two weeks, which is the amount of time it takes for symptoms to show.
On day 128, protesters say no to thugs and financial policies
- Protesters demonstrated outside the Association of Lebanese Banks in Beirut on Friday, the IMF's second day of technical consultations with Lebanese officials, to oppose Lebanon's payment of Eurobonds. Protesters also demonstrated outside Phoenicia hotel, where the IMF delegation is staying, and organized a sit-in outside the Ministry of Public Works against infringement of maritime property.
- In Hamra Street, protesters gathered outside Mawarid Bank's main branch to call for the detainment of former Minister Marwan Kheireddine, who owns Mawarid Bank and whose bodyguards attacked economist Mohamad Zbeeb last week. Meanwhile, Zbeeb held a press conference on Friday whereby he accused Kheireddine of being behind the attack.
- Protesters in Sidon also demonstrated outside the Central Bank.
Lebanon watchdog says prices increased by 45%
- Lebanon’s Consumer Protection Association published a press release announcing that, since October, prices in Lebanon have risen by 45% while wages have dropped.
- Head of the Consumer Protection Association Zuhair Berro told The Daily Star, “people’s savings will evaporate in a few short weeks and unemployment is increasing.” Berro added that because traders’ existing stockpiles will run out, they will be forced to buy new supplies at the unofficial exchange rate.
- The Union of Syndicate of Bakery Owners called on the state to subsidize the wheat price to maintain the price and weight of bread. They warned of an open—ended strike starting next Monday if their demands are not met.
Journalists and activists summoned to police intelligence
- Journalist Dima Sadek and activist Gino Raidy stated on social media that they were summoned by the Central Criminal Investigation Department to give statements. This follows after the Free Patriotic Movement summoned them on February 11 for allegedly promulgating fake news and inciting sectarian and racist strife. Sadek added that she was summoned as per Gebran Bassil's orders.
- Similarly, activist Charbel Khoury was also summoned by the Anti-Cyber Crimes Bureau after being sued by Gebran Bassil's Economic Advisor Charbel Cordahi.
- The Lawyers' Committee for the Defense of Protesters released a statement noting that this is part of a general crackdown against protesters, with law enforcement agencies calling in tens of protesters per week for investigation.
REPOSTED FROM @Megaphonenews