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COVID-19 Cases Spike in Southern Libya

COVID-19 Cases Spike in Southern Libya

Thursday, 2 July, 2020 - 08:15
Medical team wearing protective suits walk to a clinic, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Misrata, Libya May 29, 2020. (Reuters)
Cairo - Jamal Jawhar

The national campaign to raise awareness on COVID-19 has kicked off from Sabha, southern Libya, in partnership with the National Center for Disease Control of Libya (NCDC), international organizations and local associations.

The country announced 22 confirmed cases bringing the total to 824, in addition to 24 deaths. Sabha recorded 14 new confirmed cases out of the 22 announced cases.

Director-General of NCDC Badreddine al-Najjar said that the 3-day campaign was launched from Sabha and it aims to raise awareness on the risks of the novel coronavirus.

World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNICEF, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), Danish Refugee Council (DRC), ACTED, International Medical Corps and the Libyan Red Crescent are participating in the campaign.

Najjar added that the pandemic is aggravated in Sabha for several reasons including the lack of cooperation between citizens and medical bodies, and citizens’ neglect of social distancing instructions. He added that residents were in a denial state that led to the outbreak of COVID-19 outside Sabha.

Cases remarkably spiked in Sabha in the past weeks, amid deteriorated medical conditions in the health sector in southern cities and low-level government services.

Dr. Ibrahim Altuni, a supervisor from the campaign, said that it will address citizens and urge them to commit to precautionary measures set by the Supreme Committee for Combating Epidemics. This will occur through holding discussions and distributing posters to raise awareness.

NCDC pinned hope on cooperation and providing facilitation to epidemiological surveillance and investigation teams as well as their affiliated quick response teams to perform their tasks in early diagnosing cases, taking samples, and carrying out required procedures of quarantine and isolation.

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