(31 Mar 2020) LEAD IN:
Lebanon’s Hezbollah group is mobilizing its health staff and supporters to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
The militant group and political party Hezbollah has been showing off its power in recent weeks to fight the spread of the coronavirus in Lebanon.
The group says it has mobilized more than 24,000 of its health workers, paramedics and volunteers in areas where it enjoys support to help with the fight against the new coronavirus.
It also said it has offered to put them at the disposal of the Lebanese government if the situation gets worse.
Hezbollah workers were seen on Tuesday spraying entire neighborhoods in the suburbs of Beirut, the party’s stronghold, with disinfectants to limit the spread of the disease.
The push by Hezbollah comes as the group is being subjected to harsh criticism by its opponents in Lebanon who accuse it of having delayed the cessation of flights from Iran.
Lebanon has ordered people not to leave their homes unless for emergency and declared a night curfew.
Most businesses are closed and authorities have fined people for violating the orders.
The country of nearly 5 million people has reported 463 cases of infections and 12 deaths.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks.
For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and could lead to death.
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