Situation Report

First COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Libya

In March 2021, Libya reported 158,957 cumulative confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,667 total deaths. Of over 129,000 tests conducted in Libya in March 2021, 19.2 per cent were confirmed positive. The positivity rate remains the same as for February, but close to 52,000 more lab tests were conducted compared to February (a 67 per cent increase). The increased testing seems promising. However, weekly analyses show significant fluctuations across regions and most of the testing remains Tripoli-centric (93 per cent of the total number of tests conducted nationwide). There are deficiencies in surveillance for all municipalities, especially in the south and west. [1]

On 27 March, the Scientific Advisory Committee for Combatting the Coronavirus Pandemic upgraded the COVID-19 emergency alert level from 3 to 4, meaning that transmission has gone from high incidence to very high incidence or rising exponentially. The Scientific Advisory Committee warned that the epidemiological situation had escalated while the daily COVID-19 death toll is on the rise. Libya has commenced the vaccination campaign, receiving vaccine shipments from various countries and being allocated an initial number of 292,800 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine within the COVAX initiative. Libya is projected to secure 2.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines according to its National Deployment Plan for COVID-19 vaccination. Four vaccines were approved by the Libyan National Regulatory Authority to be used in the country (AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and J&J/Janssen). The four vaccines are listed for emergency use by WHO.