BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanon’s Health Ministry reported 63 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, the largest single-day increase since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Lebanon has seen an increase in cases in recent weeks after it began easing lockdown measures as part of a gradual re-opening of its crisis-hit economy. Many of the new cases are the result of Lebanese expatriates returning home, Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad.

The country of about 6 million has recorded 1,024 cases and 26 deaths, according to the Health Ministry.

Abdel Samad said that lockdown restrictions would remain in place until at least June 7 as part of the gradual re-opening of the economy.

(Reporting by Eric Knecht; Editing by Alison Williams)

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