Libya PM hails COVID vaccine delivery as 'first drop of rain'

FILE PHOTO: Libya's new Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibeh, speaks during a news conference in Tripoli, Libya February 25, 2021. REUTERS/Hazem Ahmed/File Photo

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - More than 100,000 doses of Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine arrived at Tripoli's Mitiga airport on Sunday, Libya's ministry of health said, the first shipment to reach the country.

Around 1,000 new infections are announced daily by the National Centre for Disease Control, posing a challenge to a health sector ravaged by years of conflict.

"It is the first drop of rain. Thank God, we are able to supply the first batch of corona vaccine," interim Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibeh said in a tweet.

"The rest of the shipment will arrive in succession," he added, without giving details of how many more doses were due.

A box of the vaccine was shown being unloaded from a cargo plane in a social media post by the health ministry, saying it would be moved to the ministry's warehouses before distribution.

In February, the disease control centre launched an electronic registration campaign for vaccinations for those aged over 18. No details on the numbers of those registering have been disclosed. Libya has a population of around 6.5 million.

Libya has recorded almost 200,000 infections since the outbreak of the pandemic and 2,684 deaths, according to the latest data from the diseases centre.

Libya has been torn by division and violence for a decade since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising against Muammar Gaddafi and split between warring western and eastern factions in 2014.

Dbeibeh's new U.N.-backed unity government took office last month with a mandate to improve services and prepare for a national election in December.

(Reporting by Reuters Tripoli newsroom; Editing by Alison Williams)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Next In World

Algeria cancels plan to reopen land borders
India's halt to vaccine exports 'very problematic' for Africa
Russia moves to bar Navalny allies from parliamentary race
North Carolina prosecutor says police were justified in fatally shooting Andrew Brown
PM Modi's rating falls as India reels from COVID-19 second wave
U.S. Tripoli visit shows increased Libya focus after fighting
Nurse who treated UK PM Johnson for COVID slams government as she quits job: paper
Mexico hopes U.S.-Mexico border curbs lifted before summer ends
At least 57 migrants drown in shipwreck off Tunisia - Tunisian Red Crescent
COVID-weary French cafes, stores impatient for new lockdown easing

Stories You'll Enjoy