First coronavirus case in eastern Libya

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Authorities running eastern Libya confirmed the first case of coronavirus on Tuesday despite closing borders and imposing a curfew to limit social interactions.

Libya confirmed 20 cases of the new coronavirus, with the rest in western areas controlled by the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).

The UN and aid agencies urged Libya’s warring factions to stop fighting, but conflict increased in the last two weeks and projectiles hit a hospital in a GNA-held area of Tripoli on Monday.

Eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) of Khalifa Haftar, backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Russia, has been attempting to capture Tripoli for over a year.

Aid agencies including the World Health Organisation said Libya is poorly placed to withstand any major coronavirus outbreak as much infrastructure is damaged.