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Libya COVID-19 Surveillance Weekly Bulletin: Epidemiological Week 02 (10 - 16 Jan)

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• Case numbers in the country have plateaued with a slight increase in case incidence and positivity rate and a slight decrease in lab testing capacity and deaths reported in Week 2. At the national level, Libya has stabilized cases (3000-4000 cases per week) and COVID-19 testing (28000-32000 lab tests per week. For week 2, at the national level, Libya had a high incidence of community transmission (CT3) with 59.8 cases/ 100,000 population/week and a 13.1% weekly test positivity rate. Moreover, for reporting week 2, Libya had adequate lab testing capacity with 455 persons tested/100,000 population/week. (See Table III)

• 28 COVID-19 labs (out of 41) reported 31,011 (30,558 PCR and 453 Ag-RDT) new lab tests done in Epi-week 02. Thus, out of the 2,125,382 tests in Libya since the beginning of the response, 398,055 (18.7%) were confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).

• Case incidence per 100,000 increased from 54.3 in week 1 to 59.8 in week 2. The overall number of new cases reported in EPID week 2 shows a 10% increase (4,072 cases) from 3,699 cases last week, with West reporting an 11% increase in new patients.
Conversely, the East reported a 25% decrease, and the South had an 8% decrease in cases. The trend in cases at the regional level is proportional to the trend of lab tests done for the reporting week.

• In Epi-week 2, the number of new deaths (57) decreased compared to last week (69). As a result, the mortality rate decreased from 1.01 to 0.84 death per 100,000 cases, with a case fatality rate of 1.4%. However, the CFR remained high in the East (35), showing increased disease severity. Compared to last week, West reported a 23% decrease while East reported a 9% decrease in deaths for the reporting week. (- see table 1).

• Compared to Epi-week 1, there was a 5% decrease in overall national testing: by regions, West (4% decrease), East (22% decrease) and South (20% decrease). Thus, 97.8% (30,339) of national testing was performed in the West as compared to both East (1.8%, only 573 tests) and South (0.4%, only 99 tests) Regions. (-see fig. 1).

• The national positivity rate for Epi-week increased from 11.4% in week 1 to 13.1% in week 2 due to increased confirmed cases in the West. West had a positivity rate of 13.2%, East (9.9%) and South (11.1%). It is recommended that positivity rates be kept below 5% in all administrative levels.

• Libya remains classified under high community transmission (CT3) with Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron Variants of Concern (VOC) circulation.