COVID-19: Improved epidemiological situation in Libya marks exiting of fourth wave of COVID-19
March 2022 saw a marked decrease in COVID-19 case incidence, deaths and laboratory tests conducted in Libya, with the overall number of new cases reported in March showing an 89 per cent overall decrease (7,113 cases) from February (89 per cent and 75 per cent decrease in the west and east, respectively, and an 85 per cent increase in the south), which is consistent with Omicron trends in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
According to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the number of new deaths (147) reported in March saw a decrease by 40 per cent compared to the previous month. As a result, the monthly mortality rate was 2.1 deaths per 100,000 cases, with a monthly case fatality rate (CFR) of 2.1 per cent. However, the CFR remained high in the east (15.2 per cent), showing increased disease severity. There was a 38 per cent, 39 per cent decrease and 86 per cent decrease in deaths for the west, east and south, respectively.
The epidemiological situation in Libya showed significant improvement in March amid a marked decrease in the number of daily reported cases and deaths, which the NCDC indicates is a mark that the country has exited the fourth wave of COVID-19 with all the country's regions have been recategorized as having recovered to the second (out of five) level of epidemiological spread. The NCDC has advised putting into effect urgent plans to intensify vaccination campaigns and increase efforts in mobile vaccination units to limit the spread of the Coronavirus. In addition, precautionary measures should continue to be enforced while planning for a gradual scaling down of these measures until Libya achieves better control over the pandemic and reaches an acceptable level of vaccination coverage.
By the end of March 2022, the NCDC reported: 501,738 cumulative COVID-19 cases, including 6,419 deaths, and 5,267 active cases. As for vaccinations, a total of 2.2 million people received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, 1.13 million people received two doses and 93,648 people received a booster dose. In addition, the NCDC, in partnership with IOM, continued the vaccination campaign targeting migrants and refugees, including those in detention centres, with a total of 10,385 individuals having received at least one dose by early April. The NCDC and IOM temporarily suspended the vaccination campaign for migrants and refugees during the month of Ramadan.
As of 15 March 2022, a total of a cumulative 8,950,720 vaccine doses had been received in Libya, of which 3.8 million (42 per cent) were estimated to have been utilized. Available vaccine stocks are estimated to be five million doses.