GNA Accused of “Indifference to the Lives of Citizens” After Surge in Coronavirus Cases


Hundreds of Libyans have expressed their outrage after the announcement of twenty new COVID-19 cases in the country.

The citizens expressed their dissatisfaction with what they called a “lack of care” by the authorities in Tripoli, after repatriating nationals stranded abroad without subjecting them to quarantine.

On Wednesday, the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) announced two positive cases in the southern city of Sebha.

Later that same night, a record 20 new cases were reported. It was found that 17 patients had been in contact with a previously infected case within the same city.

According to the NCDC, 99 cases have been recorded so far, including 55 active cases, 40 recoveries, and 4 deaths. The total number of people tested is currently 4,851.

Upon the announcement of 20 additional cases, thousands of Libyans expressed their anger, accusing the Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord (GNA) of “recklessness and indifference to the lives of citizens”.

An immediate end to the flights repatriating citizens from abroad was demanded.

Libyans protested the expense of over the 500 million Libyan dinars, which the GNA announced in March to confront the virus. According to data from the country, there are not enough quarantine centers for the number of infected patients.

Libya saw a relative period of calm with few cases being reported prior to the decision to repatriate the stranded citizens.

According to eyewitnesses from Tripoli, the returnees were transported from Misrata Airport, about two hundred kilometers east of the capital, in coaches to the car park opposite the Grand Hotel in Tripoli

Ten nationals returned from Turkey without being subjected to quarantine, sparking a sharp critique of the head of the High Council of State Khaled al-Mishri.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office announced that an investigation had been opened into the incident, while no results had been announced.

Among the 10 returnees, one tested positive for COVID-19, being the city of Zawiya’s confirmed cases.

The Ministry of Health appealed to a group of returnees who had been quarantined to come to the Zawiyat Al-Dahmani Health Complex to undergo medical tests.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that should an outbreak occur in Libya, results would be unpredictable and disastrous.

This is a result of years of instability in the country and a weakened healthcare system.