By Sami Zaptia.
London, 1 October 2021:
After the arrival of a first batch of 117,600 vaccines on 15 September, Italy renewed its support in fighting against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Libya by delivering to Tripoli Mitiga Airport yesterday an additional 240,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines.
The donation arrived on an Italian flight directly from Rome operated by the Italian Airforce and coordinated by the Italian Embassy in Tripoli with the Libyan Ministry of Health.
A third delivery of 144,000 scheduled for next week
A third delivery is already scheduled for next week, 6 October, when an additional 144.000 doses will arrive in Libya. With this, Italy would have donate to Libya a total of 501.600 doses of AstraZeneca Vaccines, covering around 8% of the Libyan population.
Bilateral cooperation between Italy and Libya in facing the COVID-19 pandemic started early on. Immediately after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Italy and Libya started a joint action to prevent the spread of the virus and to assist the most serious cases. In May 2020, during the most critical moment of the pandemic, the Libyan Government sent a team of seven doctors to Rome, at the COVID Centre equipped at the Celio Military Polyclinic. The Libyan team worked side by side with Italian doctors, treating the emergency and most serious patients.
At the same time, together with Italian colleagues they had the chance to study in depth the Italian emergency response to the crisis in order to apply it within the Libyan emergency system.
Solidarity Bridge Initiative delivering medical equipment and disposables
Italy also delivered concrete goods in order to support local hospitals to deal with the emergency. With the “Solidarity Bridge Initiative” they are delivering medical machinery, ventilators, medicine, ambulances to 24 municipalities all around the country. A total amount of 10 million euros of procurement. Moreover, the Italian Cooperation donated last April a first delivery of one million surgical masks and protection to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
A second batch is expected to arrive in Tripoli in the next weeks. It will include 16 pulmonary ventilators, 1.3 million surgical masks, 9,000 protective suits and 13,000 litres of sanitizing surgical gel that will be distributed by the Ministry of Health.
Libya’s vaccines and Coronavirus update
Italy’s latest AstraZeneca consignments follows a donated consignment of 144,000 AstraZeneca doses donated by Denmark on 22 September. Deliveries from Greece and Malta also arrived on 17 August.
Malta had sent 40,000 doses of AstraZeneca anti-Coronavirus vaccines and an equal number of Rapid Antibody test kits. The process was conducted through close cooperation with the World Health Organization and Libya’s Health Ministry.
The Maltese consignment arrived on the same day as another consignment of 200,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines arriving at Mitiga airport from Greece. Italy’s second donation makes it the eighth consignment of AstraZeneca vaccines to arrive in Libya
Overall, it is the seventeenth consignment of vaccines to arrive in Libya. It brings the total number of the four brands (Sputnik V, Astra Zeneca, Pfizer and Sinovac/pharm) received in Libya to 4,017,852 doses.
Vaccine arrivals in Libya
|Brand||Quantity||Date of arrival||Note|
|1||Sputnik V||101,252||040421||Via UAE|
|2||Oxford AstraZeneca||57,600||080421||Via Covax|
|5||Oxford AstraZeneca||117,600||190521||Via Covax|
|12||Oxford AstraZeneca||117,600||120821||Via Covax|
|13||Oxford AstraZeneca||200,000||170821||Via Greece|
|14||Oxford AstraZeneca||40,000||170821||Via Malta|
Libya has ordered 12 million doses
It will be recalled that the Libyan government had announced earlier that it had ordered a total of 12 million doses for its official population of 6.9 million people. The vaccine is available to non-national residents and illegal migrants too.
1.39 million vaccinated with first dose
According to the latest figures released by Libya’s National Disease Control Centre (NDCD) today, 1,393,030 people have now received a first dose and 211,278 have received their second dose.
This means that Libya is sitting on over 2.5 million doses not rolled out yet. Many Libyans have complained to Libya Herald that they are still awaiting their second Sputnik dose, but there is unconfirmed news that the health authorities are going to use the AstraZeneca as a second dose for those who had received Sputnik or the Chinese brands as their first doses.
Vaccination drive launched
The government had launched a nationwide vaccination drive starting in the biggest population centres of Tripoli, Benghazi, Sebha and Misrata.
The latest Coronavirus cases and vaccinations
Meanwhile, the latest NCDC figures reported today read as follows:
|Total number of people vaccinated – 1st dose||1,393,030|
|Total number of people vaccinated – 2nd dose||211,278|
|Total number of Coronavirus cases||341,091|
|Total number of recovered cases||260,885|
|Total number of active cases||75,542|
|Total number of deaths||4,664|
|Total number of tests conducted over last 24 hours||4,851|
|Rate of infection||20.7 percent|