By Sami Zaptia.
London, 2 April 2021:
A member of Libya’s Anti-Coronavirus Advisory Committee confirmed to Libya Herald today that the first batch of 57,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is awaiting shipment to Libya.
The news comes as Libya’s National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reported today:
- 161,088 – cumulative coronavirus cases
- 2,684 – total deaths
- 10,116 – active cases
- 148,288 recovered cases
Sources have reported that the Libyan authorities are coordinating with one of their state airliners to transport the vaccines, which are part of the UN Covax programme. Covax was established by the UN to coordinate and supply less developed states in order to ensure that all states received some vaccines.
It will be recalled that various Libyan authorities have been vowing that the first batch of vaccines were to first arrive in mis-March, and then by the end of March. We are already in April and no vaccines have arrived – despite neighbouring Tunisia having already received its initial batches.
It will also be recalled that new Libyan prime minister, Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba, made a point of making the delivery of the vaccine and fighting the spread of Coronavirus as one of his main priorities.
Libya remains one out of five African states not to receive its first batch of vaccines – together with CAR, Burkina Faso, Chad and Eritrea.
The vaccines should now be arriving on 6 April. On 22 March, Aldabaiba’s new Health Minister, Ali Al-Zanati, reported to Libyan media that he expects the first batch of AstraZeneca anti-Coronavirus vaccines to arrive in the country within the next two weeks.
The statement came after the Health Minister had held a meeting with the Governor of the Central Bank of Libya. Minister Zanati said the CBL Governor had expressed his readiness to cooperate with his Ministry to overcome difficulties to provide medical services to citizens.
Zanati stressed that the matter of supplying anti-Corona vaccines is in the hands of Prime Minister Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba, who he reported had taken several measures on the matter and communicated with companies to supply the vaccine, and who in turn had placed the Minister in the picture of these measures – after Minister Zanati had taken over his duties at the Ministry.
Zanati also confirmed that he had now effectively reunified the country’s two separate western and eastern Health Ministries into one.
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