COVID-19 surveillance Weekly bulletin for Libya Epidemiological Week 19 (3 - 9 May)

Situation Report
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• 23 COVID-19 labs (out of 32) reported 12,241 new lab tests done for Epi-week 19. Out of the total 995,373 tests done in Libya since the beginning of the response, 180,226 (18.1%) were confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).

• As compared to Epi-week 18, there was a 22% decrease in overall national testing: by regions a 24% decrease in the West and 62% decrease in the South. The East reported a 95% increase (-see fig. 1)

• The national positivity rate for Epi-week 19 further decreased from 16.4% to 15.4%; this is attributable to overall decreased case numbers in the West and South, positivity rates of 14.7%. It cannot be generalized based on a much higher positivity rate in the East (23.5%) than the national-level positivity rate.

• The overall number of new cases reported shows a 27% decrease compared to the prior week, with West reporting a 30% decrease in new patients. East reported a 63% increase and South a 62% decrease in the number of cases. The decrease in the number of cases and lab tests done in the last two weeks correlates with the holy month of Ramadan. Patients do not prefer to get swab tests during fasting, in addition to fewer working hours for Rapid Response Teams and decreased number of travellers getting tested for COVID-19.
No reported shortage of tests or lab reagents from any COVID-19 labs across the country.

• Trends in the number of cases are directly proportional to lab testing trends in the regions reporting epidemiological week.

• In Epi-week 19, the number of new deaths (25) further decreased by 40% compared to last week. The mortality rate decreased to 0.37 deaths per 100,000 cases, with a case fatality rate decreasing to 1.3%.

• West reported a decrease in deaths for the reporting week (51% decrease), East (25% increase) and no change in South (- see table 1)

• Libya remains classified under community transmission with a verified circulation of two Variants of Concern VOC 202012/01(B.1.1.7, UK Variant) and 501Y.v2(B.1.351, South African Variant) in the country.