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Libya Contains ‘Diplomatic’ Crisis, Fights COVID-19

Libya Contains ‘Diplomatic’ Crisis, Fights COVID-19

Monday, 29 June, 2020 - 10:30
A worker wears a protective face mask and gloves at a factory for masks, as part of precautionary measures against coronavirus, in Misrata, Libya. (File photo: Reuters)
Cairo- Jamal Jawhar

As the number of patients who tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Libya amounted to 727 cases, medical bodies have succeeded in containing a diplomatic crisis following the bullying of a Filipino nurse who caught the coronavirus.

Director-General of the National Center for Disease Control of Libya (NCDC) Badreddine al-Najjar met with the Chargé d'Affaires the Philippine Embassy in Libya, Elmer Cato, in Tripoli on Saturday.

Najjar said that he discussed with Cato the case of the Filipino nurse and the bullying to which she was subjected. He added that Cato urged Libyans to remember how these Filipino nurses have sacrificed their lives and worked side by side with Libyan nurses to care for patients.

In general, Libyans show full respect to the Filipino nursing staff in the country and appreciate their key role in professionally providing medical services, Najjar said. The discrimination against anyone who gets infected with coronavirus is a current problem that the Center is trying to manage and change the attitude towards patients.

A medical source in the Center told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that Cato was irked by the news and concerned over the lives of the Filipino community in Tripoli, yet he was reassured by Najjar.

In this context, a total of 14 new COVID-19 cases have been reported over the last 24 hours, said the NCDC, distributed as follows: Sabha: 10 cases, Benghazi: 3 cases and Zliten: 1 case.

Libya’s Presidential Council extended the curfew in western Libya from 8 pm till 6 am for ten more days. On Fridays and Saturday, a 24-hour curfew is imposed.

For its part, Al-Hawari Hospital in Benghazi announced that it won’t receive new cases because it has reached its maximum operating capacity of 40 patients.

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