Libya receives 1st Covid vaccine shipment

Libya has received its first shipment of vaccines against Covid-19, with 101,250 doses from Russia, the Health Ministry said on Sunday.

The Sputnik doses arrived in the capital Tripoli and will be stored in the Health Ministry’s warehouses, according to official news agency LNA.

No date has been given for when vaccinations will begin, dpa news agency quoted the LNA as saying.

Interim Prime Minister Abdul-Hamid Mohammed Dbeibeh said on Sunday that more vaccine shipments would follow and called on the public to register in order to receive a jab.

So far, Libyan health authorities have reported a total of 161,088 Covid-19 cases and 2,684 deaths.

Last month, a transitional unity government took office in Libya, a major step towards re-establishing stability in the country that has been roiled by conflict for a decade.

The interim government is tasked with preparing for national elections, scheduled for December 24.

This government has replaced the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), which has been in charge of Tripoli and western areas, alongside the competing eastern administration linked with warlord Khalifa Haftar.

Libya plunged into chaos after the fall of late leader Muammar Gaddafi’s government in 2011, witnessing prolonged conflict between the eastern-based Haftar-led Libyan National Army (LNA) and the GNA in the country’s west.

Due to the protracted armed conflict, political and economic crises and the coronavirus pandemic, nearly 1.2 million people, including over 348,000 children, require humanitarian assistance in Libya, according to the Unicef.

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