By Sami Zaptia.
London, 31 August 2021:
Defending his government’s record on Coronavirus during his hour-long address to the nation last Friday, Libyan Prime Minister Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba said that the aim was to vaccinate 5 million people in Libya in the short term.
He confirmed the published figures by saying that so far over 3 million vaccines had arrived in Libya. He also revealed that another 3 million vaccines were expected to arrive soon.
The Prime Minister also reiterated his governments previous threat to make vaccination compulsory.
No business deals
He denied that the import of the anti-Coronavirus vaccines was the subject of business deals and commissions. He said that when he arrived in office there were no vaccines present in Libya and that he and his government went to great lengths to source vaccines from friendly countries.
To accusations that his government had failed in its fight against the pandemic, he said the doubters were those who had failed.
On the medical oxygen supply crisis, he said his government had imported around 17 oxygen plants.
He called on everyone in Libya to get vaccinated explaining that it was the only way to defend against the pandemic.
Libya vaccinates over 1 million people
London, 25 August 2021:
Meanwhile, on 24 August, it will be recalled, Libya’s Ministry of Health announced that over one million people had now been vaccinated against the Coronavirus. The Health Ministry said this had been achieved using over 430 nationwide vaccination centres.
This achievement must, however, be kept in perspective as neighbouring Tunisia had vaccinated this number in days during its recent vaccination drive.
Libya’s latest Coronavirus stats
The latest figures from the country’s National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) published today report the following:
|Total number of people vaccinated with first dose||1,071,946|
|Total number of people vaccinated with second dose||58,539|
|Total number of Coronavirus cases||308,972|
|Total number of recovered cases||220,468|
|Total number of active cases||84,257|
|Total number of deaths||4,247|
|Total number of tests conducted over last 24 hours||5,760|
|Rate of infection||26.0 percent|
The vaccination drive launched by the government has continued.
14 shipments of 3.6 million doses arrived
Moreover, as the Prime Minister said, on 17 August, the fourteenth consignment of anti-Coronavirus vaccines arrived in Libya. It brings the total number of the four brands (Sputnik V, Astra Zeneca, Pfizer and Sinovac/pharm) received in Libya to 3,638,652 doses.
12 million ordered for 6.9 million population.
It will be recalled that the Libyan government had announced earlier that it had ordered a total of 12 million doses for its official population of 6.9 million people. The vaccine has been available to non-national residents and illegal migrants too.
Tunisia keeps borders closed
However, there is some tension between Libya and Tunisia as Tunisia has refused to reopen its borders and resume flights on 19 August after Libya had, apparently, closed and tried to reopen them unilaterally.
Libyans were irked when the Tunisian authorities refused to let ambulances queuing up its border crossing from entering.
Tunisia is saying its decision is based on medical grounds, Libyan social media have depicted it as a tit-for-tat reaction.
A ministerial delegation visited Tunisia this weekend, but the border has remained closed.