Libya imposes two-week curfew amid surge in Covid-19 cases

The country this month recorded its highest number of new daily infections

Libya's Government of National Unity announced a two-week curfew in the areas it controls in the centre and west of the North African country amid a surge in Covid-19 cases.

The situation has worsened over the past few weeks. More than 6,000 infections were reported on July 18, the most since the pandemic began, according to Unicef.

The 12-hour curfew, which came into effect on Monday, is from 6pm to 6am. All commercial activities will be suspended except for institutions that provide public, security and medical services.

Under the lockdown, cafes, restaurants, shops and parks will be closed and travel will be prohibited.

The curfew will not apply in eastern and southern Libya, which are under the de-facto control of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

Health services in Libya, a country of about 7 million people, have been battered by a decade of conflict. Since the pandemic began, 236,961 cases and 3,398 deaths from Covid-19 have been recorded.

On July 11, Libya imposed several restrictions to stem the spread of the virus These included a ban on weddings and organised funerals with mourners.

Last week, the UN expressed concern over the rise in cases.

The surge in cases is happening at the same time Libya is grappling with a political crisis over its planned elections on December 24, amid concerns that a deadlock could cause the North African oil exporter to spiral back into full-scale war.

Updated: July 27th 2021, 9:36 AM