By Sami Zaptia.
London, 17 March 2020:
The internationally recognized Libyan government based in Tripoli and led by Faiez Serraj announced a series of measures aimed at mitigating the spread of the Corona virus (Covid-19).
In a recorded televised speech broadcast Saturday night, Faiez Serraj announced a state of emergency and half a billion dinars to fight the virus.
He also announced the closure of all Libyan land, air and sea borders for three weeks from 16 March.
All educational institutions were also closed for two weeks, with the possibility of extension, and all sports and cultural activities and gatherings to be halted as well as wedding / occasions halls are to be closed.
Cafes and restaurants with ”a high standard of hygiene” are allowed to open until 4 pm while all other establishments and shisha establishments are to be closed. Mosques are also to be closed for prayers. The state internet company has been urged to provide reduced internet packages to enable increased internet use from homes.
Meanwhile, the government in eastern Libya had also put into action a state of emergency plan to mitigate the virus. Its border closures come into effect next Thursday, however. It has also set up its own virus testing lab to avoid the time-wasting process of sending samples to Tripoli.
Both Libyan ‘‘governments’’ have announced that the suspected seven cases across the country put into quarantine last week had all proved negative. These were; two cases in Benghazi, two in Misrata, one in Zliten, one in Zawia and one suspected case in Amal oilfield.