Libya COVID-19 Surveillance Weekly Bulletin: Epidemiological Week 31 (2 – 8 August)

Situation Report
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• 29 COVID-19 labs (out of 34) reported 57,109 new lab tests done in Epi-week 31. Thus, out of the total 1,391,098 tests in Libya since the beginning of the response, 269,847 (19.4%) were confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).

• Tripoli University Hospital Lab has resumed reporting this week since last time in Feb 2020.

• Compared to Epi-week 30, there was a 17% decrease in overall national testing: by regions, West (16% decrease), South (43% decrease) and East (19% decrease). Thus, 97.6% (55,726) of national testing was performed in the West as compared to both East (only 704 tests) and South (only 679 tests)
Regions. (-see fig. 1)

• The national positivity rate for Epi-week has a decreasing trend since week 28. It decreased from 28.3% in week 30 to 23.7 in week 31, mainly representing the West with a positivity rate of 22.8%. It cannot be generalized based on the positivity rate in the East (34.9%) and South (81.9%), which differ markedly from the national-level positivity rate. National numbers of cases, deaths and lab tests are skewed to West.

• The overall number of new cases reported in EPID week 31 shows a 30% decrease (13,519 cases) from 19,367 cases last week. Case incidence per 100,000 decreased from 284.36 in week 30 to 198.5 in week 31, with West reporting a 30% decrease in new patients. East reported an 11% decrease, and South had a 37% decrease in cases.
The lab testing remains a limiting factor, and an underestimate for East and South due to insufficient tested numbers. The reasons behind the increased case numbers are weak implementation and adjustment of Public Health and Social Measures.

• Libya has not reported an official confirmation of the Delta variant. However, Delta is suspected because of its circulation in neighbouring Tunisia and Algeria.

• In Epi-week 31, the number of new deaths (171) showed a 6% decrease compared to last week. As a result, the mortality rate decreased from 2.66 to 2.51 deaths per 100,000 cases, with a case fatality rate of 1.26%.

• As compared to last week, West reported a 7% decrease in deaths for the reporting week, East (33% increase) and 35% decrease reported in South (- see table 1)

• Libya remains classified under community transmission with Alpha and Beta Variants of Concern (VOC) circulation.

• As a part of PHSM, Libya has suspended schools and universities as of 11 July 2021. Summer resorts, parks and public gardens have also been closed in some municipalities until further notice. As of 8 July 2021, borders with Tunisia have remained closed except for repatriation. In addition, GNU has officially issued a curfew from 6 pm to 6 am starting on 27 July 2021, for two weeks in Tripoli, central and western regions. Furthermore, the Ministry of education suspended all educational activities until 5 August. As of 29 July, Libyan authorities has made PCR testing mandatory for domestic flights.