On Thursday, Ibrahim BuShnaaf, the Interior Minister of Libya’s eastern-based Interim Government and a member of the High Committee to address the COVID-19 threat, declared that a government imposed curfew had officially started. He added that those who violate the curfew would be subject to harsh fines and prison terms.
The Interior Minister also confirmed that the curfew hours could be extended if required. At present, the curfew starts at 6pm and ends at 6am.
In a statement, BuShnaaf added that Libya has not detected any cases of COVID-19 yet, but that the threat still exists. He also expressed his appreciation of social media activists for launching awareness campaigns on their platforms.
The Interior Minister emphasized that the government would take harsh measures against anyone who attempts to exploit the crisis against the interests of the Libyan people.
BuShnaaf called on the Libyans to perform the daily prayers at home, stressing that the decision to suspend public prayers in mosques aims to protect Libyans from contracting the virus.
The General Authority of Endowments and Islamic Affairs said that the decision came after consultation with the relevant authorities, such as the Ministry of Health and the National Center for Disease Control.