Libya has confirmed it’s first case of the coronavirus pandemic in its capital, Tripoli.
The news was confirmed by Libya’s National Centre for Disease Control on Tuesday. According to the release by the Centre, the patient is confined in a hospital in the capital with doctors and nurses attending to the patient.
After the confirmation by the disease control centre, both factions ruling the war-torn North African country have imposed stringent measures to contain the spread of the deadly virus. Lockdowns and travel restrictions have been imposed by the UN-recognised government in Tripoli and the rival government based in the east, Benghazi.
“Both the internationally recognised government in Tripoli, in the west, and a rival administration ruling from Benghazi in the east have imposed lockdowns, stopped foreign travel and promised resources for the health service,” report by Reuters revealed.
According to the Head of Mission for WHO, Elizabeth Hoff, since the health system of Libya is near collapse due the war, equipment for testing is limited, there is very little protective gear and there is a severe shortage of medical workers, particularly in rural areas.
“This is a health system that was close to collapse before you get the coronavirus. There is a national plan, but funding has not yet been allocated for implementation,” she said.
In the absence of a proper plan to fight the virus, volunteers have started distributing face masks and gloves to Libyans as they enter banks and other public places.
More so, in other to ensure proper social distancing, demarcations have been made on the ground at places where people are supposed to be in a queue in order to prevent body contacts as part measures to contain the spread of the virus.
“If we sit down and do nothing, waiting for the government, we won’t get any results,” said Taher Alzarooq, a 55-year-old volunteer.