Libya instigates two-week preventative Covid-19 measures in face of increased spread – closes cafes and mass transport, reduces work hours

By Sami Zaptia.

(Photo: WHO).

London, 12 July 2021:

The Libyan government passed too preventative decrees yesterday to help confront the increased spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Decree No. 178 of 2021 commits all ministries, agencies, institutions, interests, public and private companies for two weeks (subject to extension) to the following:

  1. Employee attendance to be reduced 25 percent.
  2. Official working hours to be reduced from nine o’clock in the morning until one o’clock in the afternoon.
  3. All employees and visitors are to wear masks during official working hours.

Resolution No. 179 of 2021 on the other hand closes all cafes and social event halls for a period of two weeks and bans the holding of funerals and weddings and the use of mass transportation.

The Coronavirus situation

The announcement comes as Libya surpassed the 200,000 officially recorded number of Coronavirus cases on Friday and the infection rate of those tested shot up dramatically to 38.2 percent. The latest figures from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) published yesterday show:

 

Total number of people vaccinated 425,119
Total number of Coronavirus cases 204,090
Total number of recovered cases 180,860
Total number of active cases 19,990
Total number of deaths 3,240
Total number of tests conducted over last 24 hrs 7,458
Total rate of infection 38.2 percent

 

Vaccine arrivals

Meanwhile, eight consignments of anti-Coronavirus vaccines have arrived in Libya since the first shipment of Sputnik V arrived on 4 April. It brings the total number of vaccines of the four brands (including Pfizer, Sinovac and AstraZeneca) to arrive in Libya to 781,052 doses.

Libya’s Ministry of Health expects a total of 12 million doses to arrive over time.

Libya’s population is 6.9 million excluding foreigners and illegal migrants, but the government has vowed to vaccinate all present in Libya irrespective of their legal status. On 2 June, the online registration system was opened for non-Libyans.

The Tunisia situation

On 8 July Libya closed its land and air borders with Tunisia for one week and announced that travellers into Libya must now have a negative PCR test no more than 48-hours old. It also closed universities and colleges until after Eid-Al-Adha.

The decision come as Tunisia reported record numbers of Coronavirus cases caused by the spread of the Delta/Indian variant.

The decision would not have been an easy one as Libya and Tunisia now see themselves as interdependent socially, culturally and economically. Any obstruction to the free-flow of goods and passengers will adversely affect both countries – at a time when they are both struggling to – and making huge efforts – to come out of an economic slump.

 

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