UNICEF warns of the sharp increase of Covid-19 cases in Libya

UNICEF urges Libyans to get vaccinated as soon as possible as the country goes into its third wave of rising Covid-19 cases as a result of the Delta variant of the virus

Libya has closed its border with Tunisia and shut down education for two weeks to monitor the epidemiological situation carefully. [Photo: Getty]
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has issued a warning about the recent rapid increase in the number of daily COVID-19 infections in Libya.

Libya recently recorded 1,710 cases in less than 24 hours, a surprisingly high figure for the north African country after months of slowly declining case numbers following the start of the national vaccination campaign.

According to UNICEF, the total number of infections in Libya has risen to just over 200,000, with an additional 3,200 deaths. A low figure when compared to neighbouring countries like Tunisia and Egypt, but still a high number when considering the country’s small population of only 6 million people.

The UN figures were also confirmed by the country’s National Center for Disease Control (NCDC).

UNICEF urged all Libyans to get vaccinated as soon as possible and to exercise caution by continuing to observe social distancing precautions, such as wearing a mask and sanitizing hands on a regular basis.

Libya’s Government of National Unity announced yesterday the temporary closure of the country’s borders with Tunisia for a week, to be followed by an evaluation of the epidemiological situation to determine whether the borders should be reopened soon or extended.

The decision was made as a precautionary measure in response to the government’s description of a “worsening situation” in the “collapsed health system,” as well as an increase in the number of cases with the delta variant in Tunisia.

Libya’s Prime Minister, Abdul Hamid Debaiba, emphasized that Libya would spare no effort in assisting its neighbouring country during its time of need, as cases in Tunisia continue to rise due to the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

In an additional precautionary measure to protect citizens, the GNU suspended education at all levels for two weeks to protect students, faculty, and their families.

Tarek Jibril, a member of the NCDC’s Epidemiology Committee, attributed the rise in cases to an outbreak of the COVID-19 Delta variant in neighbouring countries.

He also stated that Libya is dealing with the pandemic’s third wave and urged the people to follow the precautionary measures.

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