Armed combatants loyal to Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar attacked medical warehouses belonging to a hospital in Tripoli, the capital, which treats patients suffering from coronavirus, said the National Accord Government (GNA) recognized by the UN .
The attack targeted deposits at the Al-Khadra hospital in al-Swani in the capital, Tripoli, with Grad missiles, according to a statement by the GNA.
Last week, the UN condemned the heavy bombing of the hospital in which at least three civilians were injured, calling it a “gross violation of international law”.
The North African country has so far reported 25 cases of coronavirus and one death.
Since 2014, Libya has been divided into two rival administrations: the GNA led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj is based in Tripoli while the House of Representatives, allied with the renegade of military commander Haftar and his Libyan National Army (LNA) , is based in the east of the country.
In an interview with the Reuters news agency in March, the head of the Libyan National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Badereldine al-Najar, said: “Given the lack of preparation, I now consider that the Libya is unable to cope with this virus. “
Last week, Libyan authorities have announced the release of more than 450 prisoners as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
Detainees on remand or eligible for parole, statement says by the Ministry of Justice of the internationally recognized government.
Libya has imposed a national curfew from 2 p.m. to 7 a.m. and prohibits long distance travel to curb the spread of the virus.
Libya was among the 27 countries “most vulnerable to emerging epidemics” in the Global Health Security Index report released last month. It is also considered a high risk country for COVID-19 by the World Health Organization.
“Doctors and first responders, who must be trained in infection prevention and equipped with PPE, are regularly called to the front line to treat the war wounded. Local community health workers are also already overworked, “Maria Carolina, deputy head of the Red Cross sub-delegation (ICRC) in Tripoli, told Al Jazeera.
“Even the most advanced health systems in very stable and resource-rich countries are struggling to cope. A new COVID-19 epidemic will have an extremely negative impact on medical personnel in Libya. “
Human Rights Watch said last month that the Libyan health system has been “hit by intermittent armed conflict and political divisions since 2011,” warning that it would not be able to cope with large numbers of patients if infections spread.
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