Libya to Impose Full Lockdown on Parts of Country Starting Friday

The latest COVID-19 information and statistics for the Middle East and North Africa

By Joshua Robbin Marks / The Media Line

Libya’s internationally recognized government in Tripoli said Thursday that it would impose a full lockdown in the parts of the country that it controls following a spike in coronavirus cases.

The five-day lockdown will begin on Friday, restricting all outside movement except to buy necessary items. The full lockdown replaces a partial overnight curfew from 9 am to 6 pm.

Libya’s National Center for Disease Control said that the outbreaks were mostly centered in Tripoli, the port of Misrata and in the southern desert town of Sebha.

The total number of coronavirus cases in Libya as of Thursday was 3,222 with 76 deaths and 596 recoveries, according to the Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker.


Israel could reopen its skies to international flights as early as August 16. Health officials told the Knesset Wednesday that they are working on a plan to allow foreign visitors from countries with low coronavirus transmission rates, so-called “green” states, to possibly not have to go into isolation or to even take a coronavirus test.

The countries expected to be included on the list include Austria, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, Lichtenstein, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland.


Sudan has launched an online project to help with a shortage in testing capacity. A smartphone app called Corona SAFE has been developed to fill in the gap in mass testing across the country, Sara Alamlik, head of the health support division in the Health Ministry, said at a press conference Wednesday in the capital Khartoum.

The app, developed by US-based company Enaya Tech, gives information on how to avoid the virus and what the COVID-19 symptoms are.

Saudi Arabia

Mask-wearing Muslim pilgrims on Thursday arrived at Saudi Arabia’s Mount Arafat, a desert hill near Mecca, for prayers on the most important day of the annual hajj.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this year’s hajj is a fraction of the 2.5 million Muslims from around the world who attended last year. The Saudi government said that anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 people would take part in this year’s hajj. With borders closed to foreign visitors, all the participants are either Saudi citizens or residents.

Here are the latest COVID-19 numbers for the Middle East and North Africa as of 4 pm UTC on Thursday.

CountryConfirmed casesDeathsRecoveredActive Cases
Palestinian Territories11,548815,0166,451
Saudi Arabia274,2192,842231,19840,179
United Arab Emirates60,22334953,6266,248


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