By Sami Zaptia.
London, 16 April 2020:
Libya’s internationally recognized government based in Tripoli announced what it called a ‘‘total curfew’’ yesterday as part of its continued actions against the Coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic. The extended curfew starts tomorrow and will run for 10 days.
Critics say the timing is not ideal coming a week before the start of the fasting month of Ramadan a week Friday. They fear the extended ban will cause a rush to stock up and collect salaries at banks – mitigating the aim of the curfew of reducing crowding.
The announcement is seen as the shock reaction to the announcement earlier yesterday of 13 new Coronavirus cases and the announcement of 9 cases on Tuesday. Libya now has a total of 48 cases with one death.
The new extended curfew stipulates:
- The closing of all gatherings in all forms of vegetable and meat markets. Only small shops and bakeries to remain open to meet people’s essential needs.
- Owners of good transport vehicles and ambulances and of small shops and bakeries are excluded from the ban.
- Daily movement on foot is permitted for individuals from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. without the use of cars, with the observation of safety measures including the wearing of masks.
- Banks will close and cease dealing with the public during the period of the proposed curfew.
- Gatherings of all kinds are banned and the Ministry of Interior has been empowered to deal with any transgressions.
It will be recalled that the Tripoli government had first introduced a curfew on 22 March from 6 pm to 6 am. On 29 March it extended the ban further to run from 2pm to 7am.
Its new measures also banned travel between cities – except for vital activities – and reduced official working hours to start from 9 am and end at 12 pm.
Meanwhile despite calls by the international community for a humanitarian pause to fight the pandemic, fighting has continued overnight at an increased rate on multiple fronts. The oil stoppage started in January also continues.
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