War-torn Libya reports first coronavirus case

Libya has reported its first case of the novel coronavirus, a particular source of concern in the North African country where civil war has badly degraded the public healthcare system.

Libya has been mired in chaos since the 2011 overthrow of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi and is divided between the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity (GNA and forces loyal to eastern-based military strongman Khalifa Haftar.

The health minister of the UN-recognised GNA late Tuesday reported “a first contamination with the coronavirus in Libya,” without giving details of the case.

“The necessary measures have been taken to treat” the patient, the minister, Ehmed Ben Omar, said.

Badreddine al-Najar, director of the National Centre for Disease Control, said the patient had returned from Saudi Arabia via Tunisia a week ago.

War-torn Libya reports first coronavirus case