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ICRC: Libya’s COVID-19 cases have increased more than 15-fold in less than two months

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

TRIPOLI – Libya’s COVID-19 cases have increased more than 15-fold in less than two months, spiking from 571 in June to more than 9,000 today, warned the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

“More than half a million people need health care assistance as conflict, COVID-19 and economic collapse threaten to plunge hundreds of thousands of civilians deeper into chaos,” said ICRC in a statement on Thursday.

“In Benghazi and Tripoli, I saw first-hand how civilians are suffering because of the catastrophic consequences of this conflict,” said Peter Maurer, the President of ICRC.

Maurer met with Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) in Benghazi, followed by a meeting in Tripoli with Fayez Al-Sarraj, Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA). In Benghazi, he also met leadership of the Libyan Red Crescent, which has been playing a role in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

“We urge all parties to the conflict, including their international supporters, to respect international humanitarian law,” said Maurer. “Civilians must be spared in hostilities and should never be the target of attack, nor should the infrastructure they rely on for their survival, like hospitals, schools, and water and electricity plants. Their right to humanitarian assistance must also be respected.”

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