Libya Closes Border With Tunisia as Covid-19 Cases Surge

The New Unity Government of Libya will be closing its borders with Tunisia for one week due to the increased rate of coronavirus cases in the neighboring country.

The Government Representative stated that the closure is necessary to curb the spread of Covid-19. The decision came as a precautionary step to what the government described as a “worsening situation and collapsed health system,” as well as the increasing number of cases with coronavirus delta variant in Tunisia.

The Government of National Unity (GNU) Spokesman, Mohamed Hamouda said the closure of both land border and airport with Tunisia will start as of Thursday midnight. He also added that schools have been suspended for two weeks for the same reason.

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Tunisia had successfully contained the virus in the first wave of last year, but begin to struggle as infections rise. Lockdown has also been imposed in some cities since last week

The total number of cases in Tunisia has climbed to around 465,000, with more than 15,000 deaths recorded.

Hamouda said “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,”

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

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

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