• 21 COVID-19 labs (out of 32) reported 21,536 new lab tests done for Epi-week 23. Out of the total 1,089,916 tests in Libya since the beginning of the response, 189,287 (17.4%) were confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2 (CO VID-19).
• Compared to Epi-week 22, there was a 4% decrease in overall national testing: by regions, West (2% decrease) and South (36% decrease). The East reported a 77% decrease with only 132 PCR tests conducted in the whole region. The decrease is mainly due to the limited functionality of NCDC lab in Ejdabia, which did not report significant testing numbers since EPID week 19. (-see fig. 1)
• The national positivity rate for Epi-week 23 further decreased from 8.5% to 7.4%; this is attributable to overall decreased case numbers in the West with a positivity rate of 7%. It cannot be generalized based on a much higher positivity rate in the East (47%) and South (23.7%) than the national-level positivity rate. Due to low lab testing and positive cases in East and West, national numbers have now skewed to data of the West.
• The overall number of new cases reported shows a 16% decrease compared to the prior week, with West reporting a 12% decrease in new patients. East reported a 66% decrease, and South a 0.6% increase in the number of cases. Although the lab testing remains at an average number of 20,000 lab tests per week in the last three weeks, cases are declining since EPID week 11. The decrease in confirmed cases can be either due to more healthy people getting tested like travellers and less testing of suspected cases as per case definition with no reported shortage of tests or lab reagents from any COVID-19 labs.
• In Epi-week 19, the number of new deaths (19) further decreased by 5% compared to last week. The mortality rate decreased to 0.3 deaths per 100,000 cases, with a case fatality rate decreasing to 1.2%.
• West reported a decrease in deaths for the reporting week (23% decrease), East (no change) and only three deaths 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) country.