NCDC announces discovery of new Covid-19 variant in Libya

Experts at the NCDC reported the discovery of 23 cases of UK variant in Libya, the mutation is much more contagious and spreads at a faster rate than the initial version of the virus

The NCDC raised the level of concern when it comes to the spread of the virus in Libya as the public continues to ignore preventative measures. [Photo: NCDC]
The Libyan National Centre for Disease Control announced that the Coronavirus variant identified in the United Kingdom has been detected in Libya.

In a statement, the NCDC said that a group of their experts on Viruses and Molecular Biology at the Community Health Reference Laboratory using equipment donated by Vircell conducted a series of tests to detect the new variant of the Coronavirus discovered in London in early January also known as SARS-CoV-2 variant from lineage B.1.1.7.

The testing conducted on 88 randomized Coronavirus-positive samples concluded with the finding of 23 cases of the new variant, 26% of all the samples in total.

The Center also added that the discovery of the variant in Libya is cause for concern as this mutation is distinguished by a rapid transmission rate that could cause a concerning spike in the number of cases in Libya.

They also noted that the continued disregard and lack of commitment by the public to the implementation of preventative and precautionary measures will further spread the virus and possibly increase the number of fatalities.

They concluded by stressing the need for continued tracking on the new variant and the urgent need to obtain the funding to track the development of the virus to ensure the protection of national health.

Earlier this month, the Committee for combating the Coronavirus pandemic announced that Libya will receive its first shipment of 2.8 million vaccines by the end of March, enough doses to inoculate 1.4 million Libyans.

Prioritized personnel to receive the initial doses of the Covid-19 vaccine will be medical health professional, people with pre-existing conditions and those 65 years old and older.

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