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UN confirms 15 cases of COVID-19 among Syrian refugees in Lebanon

At least 15 Syrian refugees living in the same building in eastern Lebanon have tested positive to Covid-19, a spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) confirmed Wednesday. 
“As of 26 May, there are 15 confirmed cases of Covid-19 among Syrian refugees in Majdal Anjar. All the infected individuals live in the same building,” said UNHCR spokeswoman Lisa Abou Khaled.
She stressed that none of the infected people live in informal settlements, which are scattered in eastern Lebanon. 
“Up until the cases confirmed in Majdal Anjar, there had been only one confirmed Covid-19 case among Syrian refugees in Lebanon, a person who also lives in an apartment and not in an informal settlement, in northern Lebanon,” Abou Khaled added.  She said that UNHCR is monitoring the cases closely with the Lebanese Health Ministry.
UNHCR had initiated a testing campaign in informal settlements and collective shelters, she said, focusing on areas with high concentration of refugees such as Majdal Anjar. It was cooperating with Lebanese health authorities to do so.
According to a resident in Majdel Anjar, the town close to the Syrian border has been under localized lockdown since Friday when at least 32 infected persons were detected.   
Lebanon’s Health Ministry confirmed 21 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, bringing the total number in the country to 1,161 since February. Lebanon says it hosts 1.5 million Syrians, including nearly 900,000 refugees registered with the UN.