Published online Jul 25, 2021. doi: 10.5501/wjv.v10.i4.156
Peer-review started: December 24, 2020
First decision: March 8, 2021
Revised: March 21, 2021
Accepted: May 20, 2021
Article in press: May 20, 2021
Published online: July 25, 2021
There were only 75 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) reported in Libya by the National Center for Disease Control during the first two months following the first confirmed case on 24 March 2020. However, there was dramatic increase in positive cases from June to now; as of 19 November 2020, approximately 357940 samples have been tested by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, and the results have revealed a total number of 76808 confirmed cases, 47587 recovered cases and 1068 deaths. The case fatality ratio was estimated to be 1.40%, and the mortality rate was estimated to be 15.90 in 100000 people. The epidemiological situation markedly changed from mid-July to the beginning of August, and the country proceeded to the cluster phase. COVID-19 has spread in almost all Libyan cities, and this reflects the high transmission rate of the virus at the regional level with the highest positivity rates, at an average of 14.54%. Apparently, there is an underestimation of the actual number of COVID-19 cases due to the low testing capacity. Consequently, the Libyan health authority needs to initiate a large-scale case-screening process and enforce testing capacities and contact testing within the time frame, which is not an easy task. Advisably, the Libyan health authority should improve the public health capacities and conduct strict hygienic measures among the societies and vaccinate as many people against COVID-19 to minimize both the case fatality ratio and socio-economic impacts of the pandemic in Libya.
Core Tip: This review is aimed to explain and show potential reasons for having only 75 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) reported in Libya during the first two months following the first confirmed case till hundreds of positive cases everyday in the following months. The epidemiological situation markedly changed from mid-July to the beginning of August as the country proceeded to the cluster phase and COVID-19 has spread in almost all Libyan cities. The Libyan health authority needs to improve its service in order to do better job to control the pandemic and reduce the virus spread within the country.