Lebanon repatriates nationals in rare flights despite virus Apr 06, 2020 0 317 12345 AFPBeirutLebanon on Sunday started repatriating nationals who were stranded abroad in its first flights in weeks since it closed its international airport to stem the novel coronavirus.Many Lebanese work abroad, in the Gulf or in Africa, while thousands of youth study in Europe.The first of four planes touched down at the Beirut international airport late in the morning bringing in 78 passengers from Riyadh, local television reported.A second carrying 79 passengers from Abu Dhabi followed in the afternoon, the National News Agency said.Local television showed health personnel in protective gear taking the temperature of disembarking passengers.The Mediterranean country announced a lockdown and closed its airport from March 19 as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, which has officially infected 527 people and killed 18 nationwide.An AFP photographer saw a dozen buses outside the airport, which the health ministry said were to transport the passengers to their homes to self-quarantine or to a hotel to await the results of tests on arrival.Prime Minister Hassan Diab had arrived earlier amid heavy deployment of the Lebanese army.Authorities said more than 20,000 people had signed up to be repatriated in total this week or at the end of the month.Lebanese carrier Middle East Airlines said flights would land in Beirut later on Sunday from Lagos and Abidjan.It has also announced return trips to Paris, Madrid and Kinshasa on Tuesday.Lebanese returning home must either test negative for the virus no longer than three days before their return, or be tested immediately upon arrival, according to government guidelines.They must pay for their own ticket and their families are not allowed to meet them at the airport.The government has said priority will be given to those with critical health conditions such as diabetes or cancer, those aged over 60 and under 18, and families.But critics have complained of steep ticket fares, while a financial crisis has severely restricted transactions from Lebanese bank accounts. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Iran to restart ‘low-risk’ economic activities soon Apr 06, 2020 0 310 Jordan to use drones, cameras to monitor curfew Apr 06, 2020 0 1295 Five killed in shelling of women’s prison in embattled Yemeni city Apr 06, 2020 0 130 Turkey exempts young workers from confinement order AFP Istanbul Turkey on Sunday said working youth, including seasonal agricultural labour, will be exempted from a confinement order imposed as part of tougher measures against the coronavirus outbreak. President .. Egypt bans public charity banquets during Ramadan amid pandemic DPA Cairo Egyptian authorities have banned public charity banquets, an age-old feature of the Islamic month of Ramadan, in an effort to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, state media reported on Sunday. .. Libya’s ex-premier Jebril dies of Covid-19 Cairo Libya’s former prime minister Mahmoud Jebril died on Sunday after developing Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, Libyan media reported. His death, in a Cairo hospital at the age of 68, .. Exhumation of 30,000 bodies in Rwandan mass grave begins DPA Kigali Exhumation of about 30,000 bodies from a dam outside Rwanda’s capital of Kigali began on Sunday, more than a quarter century after the genocide in which more than 800,000 people were killed. “So far, 50 bodies .. Nigerian prisoners killed after demanding release over Covid-19 fears DPA Lagos Four inmates on death row in Nigeria were killed during an altercation with prison staff after the government announced plans for early release due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, authorities have .. Israel detains Palestinian governor of Jerusalem again AFP Jerusalem Israel detained the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem on Sunday over “illegal” activities, in at least the seventh time Adnan Ghaith has been arrested in less than 18 months. “Adnan Ghaith was detained .. Ethiopia reports first two deaths from coronavirus AFP Addis Ababa Ethiopia on Sunday announced the first two deaths of patients suffering from COVID-19, as officials ramped up testing to get a clearer picture of the outbreak there. The first victim was a 60-year-old ..