Libyan Unity Government Closes Borders With Tunisia Due To Rise In COVID-19 Cases

The Libyan unity government on Thursday announced the closure of its borders with Tunisia for a week due to the rise in coronavirus cases in the neighboring country, reported Reuters.

Mohamed Hamouda, the Government of National Unity (GNU) spokesman, said the closure of both land border and airport with Tunisia will come into effect from Thursday midnight.

Hamouda also said the government has decided to suspend classes in schools and universities for around two weeks for the same reason.

The closure of the Libyan border with Tunisia comes as a precautionary step due to worsening situation and collapsed health system, and the increasing number of cases with coronavirus delta variant in Tunisia.

Tunisia is currently struggling to control the second wave of coronavirus. Last week, the Tunisian government imposed a lock down in some of its cities due to increase in case numbers, but rejected the possibility of a full national lock down due to its economic crisis.

The total number of coronavirus cases in Tunisia has crossed 465,000, with more than 15,000 deaths recorded.

“The Libyan state, through its consulate in Tunisia, will take care of its nationals stranded in Tunisia territory as a result of this decision until their return to the country is facilitated,” said Hamouda.

Notably, many Libyans travel to Tunisia for medical treatment, but the number increased as the oil-rich country slid into chaos after the fall of former President Muammar Gaddafi in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011.

Libya has reported 160,095 coronaviurs cases and 3227 deaths so far. The country’s National Centre for Disease Control said 413,883 of its about 6.5 million residents have been vaccinated.

Earlier this week, the World Health Organization (WHO) expressed concern over the sluggish vaccination rates in African nations as only 16 million people, or 2 per cent of the African population, have been fully vaccinated so far.

The world passed the tragic milestone of four million recorded Covid-19 deaths on Wednesday, according to the WHO.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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