By Sami Zaptia.
London, 15 June 2020:
Libya’s National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced an increase of 65 new Coronavirus cases over the weekend as well as 5 new deaths. This brings Libya’s total cases to 458 and deaths to 10. The 5 new deaths were all reported in the southern city of Sebha.
The new cases are spread across west, east and south Libya and include cases that had mixed with old cases, new cases and cases arriving from abroad after official repatriation. There were also foreign nationals amongst the batch of new cases.
The NCDC blames the new spike on complacency and mistrust by the Libyan public. In the beginning of June, when it looked as if the spread of the virus was petering out, many Libyans started socialising and stopped social distancing.
The NCDC criticised the doubts aired by the sceptical Libyan public about the existence of Coronavirus or the degree of its spread. Equally, the mixed messages interpreted by the Libyan public of results of the Coronavirus test analyses led to the public questioning these results and a lack of adherence to quarantine, health guidelines, and adherence to curfews and social spacing.
This reached such an extent that the NCDC called on the security authorities and the Attorney General’s Office to query all those who question the NCDC’s laboratory results. It explained the confusion over what seem as contradictory lab results to the fact that some people have strong immune systems that can show that they are infected yet when they are re-tested after 24 hours they can show that they are free of infection.
The NCDC reminded the Libyan public that its reference laboratory devices and its other laboratories are equipped with the latest devices in the world.
The last 10-day extension of Libya’s 6pm to 6am curfew is supposed to expire on 17 June. As neighbouring country Tunisia announced its success in controlling the spread of Coronavirus and the imminent reopening of its borders and airports – Libya seems to be going in the opposite direction.