Libya’s anti Coronavirus efforts continue; still no cases officially reported
By Sami Zaptia.
London, 24 March 2020:
Libya’s apparent anti Coronavirus (Covid19) efforts continued across the country as a partial curfew kicked in in the west and south, and a 24-hour curfew was announced in the east. Security forces across the country have been out in a show of strength enforcing the curfew. Enforcement has varied from municipality to municipality. In Tripoli curfew breakers initially had their car documents confiscated and today they had their actual cars impounded.
There has also been a nationwide effort to spray roads, buildings and markets with disinfectant in order to kill the virus in public places. There has also been nationwide media campaign by most government departments beyond the obvious Health Ministry and the Anti Infectious Diseases Department.
There has also been quite a wide acceptance of social distancing, although again implementation varies from areas to areas. Most bakeries are not allowing the general public to handle bread, shops are encouraging customers to queue a couple of metres apart and delivery services have seen an increase in business as people order more goods from their homes. One bank is reportedly delivering cash to people’s homes. Most banks are heavily marketing the advantages of internet and mobile banking to avoid going out, queuing and handing cash.
One Tripoli municipality, Tajura, has attempted to call a unilateral 24-hour curfew and seal itself from the rest of the city. The Tripoli government has declared that it does not have the authority to go beyond the centrally announced 6pm to 6am partial curfew.
Meanwhile, the Tripoli-based Health Ministry has reported progress in building and preparing quarantine centres. Following on from the centre on the Mitiga airport complex, the ministry reported progress in the preparation of the Zuwara and Ghadames centres, today it announced progress in the preparation of the Zliten centre.
The Ministry says it plans to prepare seven centres as part of its overall plan to mitigate against the spread of Covid19.
All this is happening while shells continue to fall on civilian centres in Tripoli as the two opposing political sides continue the fighting in ignorance of the agreed humanitarian truce.