News Alerts

25 Mar 2020 | 09:05 AM UTC

Libya: Government confirms first case of COVID-19 March 24 /update 3

Libya News Alert

National Centre for Disease Control confirms first COVID-19 case on March 24; follow authority directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 3/25/2020, 12:00 AM until 4/30/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Tripoli). COUNTRY/REGION Libya

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The National Centre for Disease Control confirmed the first coronavirus (COVID-19) case in the country on Tuesday, March 24. Little information regarding the patient was made public, though they are being treated in a hospital in Tripoli. Media sources reported that limitations on the health system and supplies in the country are concerning.

The House of Representatives implemented a curfew in efforts to avoid the coronavirus (COVID-19) entering its areas of control starting Tuesday, March 24, at 18:00 (local time) until Friday, April 3. Under the measures, supermarkets will be allowed to open for two hours each day. Borders in these areas have been closed since Thursday, March 19.

The Government of National Accords (GNA) based in Tripoli implemented an overnight curfew starting on Sunday, March 22. All movement between 18:00 and 06:00 (local time) is restricted within territory controlled by the GNA. Security, health workers, and other people involved in critical services are excluded from the curfew.

Land and sea border crossing points within GNA territory were closed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj on Monday, March 16. All mosques, schools, restaurants, wedding halls, parks, and shops are also closed as a precaution. Food stores, bakeries, and fuel stations will remain open while some state institutions may reduce operations. 

As of March 24, no cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the country. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.


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