People in Beirut Rallying Against Mandatory COVID Vaccination
13:47 GMT 08.01.2022 (Updated: 13:59 GMT 08.01.2022)
BEIRUT (Sputnik) - People are protesting against mandatory COVID-19 vaccination on Martyrs' Square in the centre of the Lebanese capital city of Beirut, a Sputnik correspondent said on Saturday.
"We are not against vaccination, we are for freedom of choice. The measures introduced by the authorities deprive us of the right to make decisions. They plan to prohibit unvaccinated people from working and students from studying", a participant of the rally told Sputnik.
The protesters believe that the actions of the authorities run counter to the constitution and suspect that COVID-19 data
of the Ministry of Health do not correspond to reality and are overstated.
The protest is taking place peacefully, with a minimal police presence.
The protests come after the country banned visits to public places on 17 December, including restaurants and tourist sites, without a vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test.
On 1 December, Lebanese Minister of Health Dr Firass Abiad announced that all medical workers, education, tourism, and public sector employees will be obligated to be vaccinated starting from 10 January.
According to the Lebanese Ministry of Health, as of Thursday, a total of 753,879 cases of COVID-19 had been detected in the country, with 9,231 deaths. According to the ministry, 65.5% of Lebanon's population are vaccinated with Sputnik V, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, or Sinovac.