By Sami Zaptia.
London, 12 January 2021:
Libya has ordered 2.8 million doses of anti-Covid-19 vaccines enough for 1.4 million people, Badr Al-Din Al-Najar, the head of the country’s National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said.
Confirming the news reported by Al-Najar, the NCDC said it was making the order through the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Covax project.
Covax is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO. Its aim is to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.
Al-Najar said the vaccines are not expected to arrive in Libya before four months. He explained that the NCDC had ruled out procuring the Pfizer Biontech brand vaccine because it requires a storage temperature of 70 degrees below zero, which is not available in Libya. He did not specify which brands Libya had purchased.
Al-Najar said the epidemiological situation in Libya is relatively calm compared to what European countries are witnessing with the emergence of a second wave of the virus and that there are no indications of the emergence of the new surge of Corona in Libya.
He said there has been an increase in the number of cases, overcrowding in isolation centres, and a slight increase in death rates as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It will be recalled that in November last year, the Audit Bureau had approved a contract by the Tripoli-based Libyan Health Ministry to purchase anti-Coronavirus vaccines worth US$ 9.619 million, the Tripoli-based state LANA news agency had revealed.
Today, the NCDC reported a total of 106,031 cases in Libya and 1,622 deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic.