Libya COVID-19 Surveillance Weekly Bulletin: Epidemiological Week 32 (9 – 15 August)

Situation Report
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• 30 COVID-19 labs (out of 34) reported 54,947 new lab tests done in Epi-week 32. Thus, out of the 1,446,045 tests in Libya since the beginning of the response, 284,618 (19.7%) were confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).

• Compared to Epi-week 31, there was a 4% decrease in overall national testing: by regions, West (6% decrease), South (57% increase) and East (99% increase). Thus, 95.5% (52,478) of national testing was performed in the West as compared to both East (only 1402 tests) and South (only 1067 tests) Regions. (-see fig. 1)

• The national positivity rate for Epi-week has a decreasing trend since week 28. It increased from 23.7% in week 31 to 26.9 in week 32, mainly representing the West with a positivity rate of 25.5%. It cannot be generalized based on the positivity rate in the East (39.3%) and South (81%), 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 32 shows a 9% increase (14,771 cases) from 13,519 cases last week. Case incidence per 100,000 increased from 198.5 in week 31 to 216.9 in week 32, with West reporting a 5% increase in new patients. East reported a 124% increase, and South had a 55% increase 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 32, the number of new deaths (183) showed a 7% increase compared to last week. As a result, the mortality rate decreased from 2.5 to 2.7 deaths per 100,000 cases, with a case fatality rate of 1.24%.

• As compared to last week, West reported a 5% decrease in deaths for the reporting week, East (8% increase) and 155% increase 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 Jul 11th, 2021. Summer resorts, parks and public gardens have also been closed in some municipalities until further notice. As of Jul 8th, 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 Jul 27th, 2021, for two weeks in Tripoli, central and western regions. Furthermore, the Ministry of education suspended all educational activities until Aug 5th. Finally, as of Jul 29th, Libyan authorities has made PCR testing mandatory for domestic flights.