COVID-19 Vaccination rates on the rise
As of 15 September, the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) reported 328,856 cumulative COVID-19 cases, including 4,480 deaths and 80,704 active cases. In comparison to July, a decrease of seven per cent in the number of confirmed cases was reported in August.
Since end July, vaccination campaigns initiated by the NCDC and the Ministry of Health, with support from WHO, UNICEF and IOM, were enhanced with the opening of new vaccination centers across Libya and the suspension of the online registration platform, facilitating free access to all Libyans to get vaccinated. A vaccination drive for migrants and refugees is also under discussion by the Government. More than 1.27 million people have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and over 145,000 people are fully vaccinated. If Libya aims to fully vaccinate 40 per cent of the population by the end of 2021, there is a need to scale up the administration rate five-fold to reach 50,000 administrated doses per day, including for non-Libyans (refugees, migrants).
In August, there was a 20 per cent increase in overall national testing, with all 36 COVID-19 labs reporting a total of 217,948 tests. Although the majority of tests were performed in the West region, the East region saw an increase by 212 per cent in testing. Latest figures indicate that the highest transmission now exists in the South region (44 per cent), followed by East and then West, signifying the need for sustaining the previous testing levels, especially in the East and South. The highest case incidences per 100,000 were recorded in Tripoli and Nalut for West, Aljufra, Ghat and Sabha in South and Alkufra and Derna in East. Libyan health authorities have not officially confirmed presence of the Delta variant. However, Delta is suspected because of its confirmed circulation in neighboring Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria. Neighboring Sudan has reported a Gamma variant. Libya remains classified under community transmission (high to very high incidence) with Alpha and Beta Variants of Concern (VOC) in circulation.
In total, over 3.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Libya. Another 3 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine are expected to arrive in the country in the coming weeks. The average national rate of daily administrated doses stands at around 10,000 doses per day.