TRIPOLI, 21 July 2021 – United Nations officials have said they are alarmed by a spike in COVD-19 cases over the last few weeks in Libya.

Earlier this week, Libyan public health officials confirmed 6,061 new cases of the virus – the highest daily number of cases ever recorded since the pandemic hit the country in March 2020.

Libyan Map - Source Atalayar

Libyan Map – Source Atalayar

COVID-19 Cases Continue to Surge in Libya - Photo Anadolu Agency

COVID-19 Cases Continue to Surge in Libya – Photo Anadolu Agency

The UN’s children agency (UNICEF) said it is “alarmed at the rapid spread” of the new coronavirus in the country.

UNICEF was commenting what is a 270 percent increase in cases in the west of the country, a 480 percent increase of cases in the southern part of the country, and a 50 percent spike in cases in the eastern part of the north African nation.

The highly infectious Delta variant of the virus which was first detected in India is believed to be at the origin of the spike in cases.

Libyan Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dbeibah receives the coronavirus jab as Mass Vaccinations Begin in Libya - Photo Mahmud Turkia, AFP

Libyan Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dbeibah receives the coronavirus jab as Mass Vaccinations Begin in Libya – Photo Mahmud Turkia, AFP

UNICEF has warned that the real number of cases may be much higher than the data shared by public health officials who certainly miss capturing certain cases in their data collection efforts no matter how meticulous.

Some of the data may also be off because there is shortage of test kits in the country.

Fears are that the rate will continue to grow given the very low vaccination rate in the country.

“The vaccination rate is very low and the spread [of COVID-19] is fast,” said Abdulkadir Musse, UNICEF’s Special Representative to Libya.

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