WHO Libya: Health response to COVID-19 in Libya, update # 27 (Reporting period: 1-31 May 2021)

Situation Report
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  • In May 2021, Libya recorded the lowest number of COVID-19 deaths since the first case was reported in the country in March 2020. No deaths from COVID-19 were reported on 19 May 2021. The monthly mortality rate dropped to 1.4 per 100 000 cases and the case fatality rate decreased to 1.1%. In the absence of age-specific data on COVID-19 deaths and case management indicators, it is not known whether this decrease is due to a higher number of infections in younger people or better treatment for COVID-19 patients in isolation centres.

  • There was a 23% decrease in overall national testing compared with April 2021. The number of tests conducted dropped by 50% compared with March 2021. This may be partly attributed to Ramadan and Eid.

  • On 19 May 2021, the second shipment of COVID-19 vaccines procured through the COVAX Facility arrived at Mitiga International Airport in Tripoli. This second batch (comprising 117 600 doses) is earmarked for priority groups including health care workers, people above 60 years of age and those between 18 and 60 years of age who have comorbidities.

  • The Government of National Unity (GNU) has announced the launch of a COVID-19 vaccination campaign in reform and rehabilitation institutions and prisons.

  • On 26 May 2021, a team of representatives from UN agencies, NGOs and donors visited Sebha Municipality for discussions on a range of topics including COVID-19, education and security. This was the first UN mission to the south in more than two years. Municipal representatives asked for more oxygen for COVID-19 patients and greater capacity to conduct PCR tests. (All parts of Libya are facing acute shortages of oxygen.)