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Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah on Wednesday said “Lebanon’s situation in the anti-coronavirus fight is good due to the efforts of the government, the Health Ministry and people’s respect for the measures.”

“Confronting coronavirus is a religious duty and abiding by the measures is a religious duty,” said Nasrallah in a televised speech on the eve of the holy month of Ramadan.

“Commitment to the measures must continue and through patience we can triumph over coronavirus,” he added.

The Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group is reportedly using Covid-19 crisis to exert more control over Lebanon.

The pandemic has provided a welcome opportunity for Lebanon’s political parties to make a comeback at little cost several months after their grip on the country was shaken by nationwide anti-government protests, analysts say. In early April, pictures circulated on social media showing locally produced face masks stamped with their logos. But as Hezbollah is the only party with a paramilitary force, its resources are by far superior and more noticeable than others’.

A nurse wears protective clothing at a hospital in southern Beirut during a media tour of Hezbollah’s preparations for the coronavirus outbreak in Lebanon. AFP

The daily rate of Lebanon’s coronavirus cases has declined in recent days. Most of the first cases were of people who were in Iran and specially Qom .

Qom is considered holy for Muslim Shiites , as it is the site of the shrine of Fatimah bint Musa, sister of Imam Ali ibn Musa Reza . The city is the largest center for Shite scholarship in the world, and is a significant destination of pilgrimage, with around twenty million pilgrims visiting the city every year, the majority being Iranians but also other Shi’ite Muslims from all around the world.

Iran continues to be the epicenter of the virus in the Middle East . Over 4900 people died in Iran from the virus and as of Wednesday there are about 86,000 cases in Iran

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