By Sami Zaptia.
London, 5 August 2020:
The National Centre for Disease Control revealed that Coronavirus testing materials have run out, leading to the suspension of work within most of its laboratories.
The news came through the leaking to the public of an internal NCDC letter which was supposed to be confidential. Its leaking has caused major consternation and finger-pointing in Libya and has dominated Libya’s social and traditional media debate.
The consternation has been more the worse as the number of Coronavirus cases has continued to rise, seemingly with the pandemic out of control.
As of yesterday, the latest numbers are:
4,063 total cases – 3,345 active cases – 625 recoveries – 93 deaths
The disquiet has also been added to because the Tripoli Libyan government had allocated LD 500 million to fighting the virus. This contrasts badly with neighbouring Tunisia which has managed to control the spread of its virus, receive international commendation for the way it achieved it, and reopen its airports to flights to Europe – all at a fraction of the money spent by Libya.
Libyans are rightly asking, where was the money spent, and why has there been no good return on the LD 500 million spent. Accusations of corruption and kickbacks have increased.
The leaked NCDC letter urged for the speedy provision, and in large quantities, of the needed testing materials, in line with the epidemiological situation in the country.
It reminded that one of the most important strategies for combating Corona in the world is the examination of large quantities of samples, which can only be achieved by providing Corona testing material in line with the epidemiological phase of the country.
Hay Al-Andalous council sounds Corona alarm and sends distress call
In a similar vein, the mayor of Hay Al-Andalous council, Mohammed al-Futtisi, said his council was now unable to contain spread of Coronavirus cases in his council, and that his council was now ‘‘sounding the alarm’’ and launching a ‘‘distress call’’ to all sides in the country.
Al-Futtisi blamed all the relevant authorities, ranging from the Supreme Advisory Committee and the NCDC, to the Ministry of Health.
He bemoaned the fact that some entities had set up a quarantine centre within his council without their knowledge, and that his council will now put it at its the disposal and against the will of the Health Ministry.
The mayor said hosting repatriated citizens from abroad within his council was one of the reasons for the spread of the virus, explaining that it was done without his council’s knowledge or approval.
226 new cases and 10 deaths as Coronavirus cases pass the 4,000 mark – Is Libya’s Coronavirus pandemic out of control?