Eastern Libya reports first coronavirus case

Eastern Libya reports first coronavirus case
After a number of COVID-19 cases were confirmed in western Libya, the outbreak is reported to have reached the country's east.
2 min read
08 April, 2020
Eastern Libya's first COVID-19 case was reported in Benghazi, according to local media [Getty]

Eastern Libya authorities on Tuesday confirmed the region's first COVID-19 case of the coronavirus despite efforts to close borders and impose a curfew, according to a Reuters report.

Libya has officially confirmed a total of 20 cases of the novel coronavirus, including one death. Prior to eastern Libya's first infection, the country's COVID-19 cases were recorded in the areas of western Libya controlled by the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).

According to local media, eastern Libya's first COVID-19 case was recorded in Benghazi, the country's second largest city after capital Tripoli.

Libyan news outlets reported the person who tested positive for the virus is a 55-year-old man who returned to Libya from Turkey through Tunisia.

The majority of Libya's east is controlled by the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA).

The war-torn North African country has been a cause for concern for agencies such as the World Health Organization, as its fragile health care system would be unable to handle a widespread novel coronavirus outbreak.

Libya is further destabilised by ongoing conflict that has raged on despite the public health crisis.

On Monday, a coronavirus-designated hospital in Tripoli was shelled in an act the United Nations deemed "a clear violation of international humanitarian law".

Local authorities said the LNA, which has been attempting to take over Tripoli for a year, was behind the attack.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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