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CAIRO – Health officials say Libya has seen an unprecedented spike in coronavirus cases amid a slow vaccination program and concerns over the highly infectious delta variant.

The number of new cases in the oil-rich country has increased more than six times since July 1, according to daily figures from the Libyan National Center for Disease Control.

“We are facing an unprecedented situation,” said Tareq Gibrael, chief medical officer of the center. “The constantly increasing curve of new cases shows that we are preparing for a third wave, especially now that the delta variant is spreading to neighboring countries. We are in a very difficult position. “

The North African country recorded 2,854 new cases on Saturday, up from 719 a week earlier. So far, Libya has recorded more than 200,000 cases in total, including 3,232 deaths. The actual numbers would be much higher given the scarcity of testing and the exhaustion of the country’s healthcare system after nearly a decade of civil war.

LONDON – Britain’s Vaccine Minister has said the British should continue to wear masks indoors from July 19, even if the legal requirement to do so will be lifted.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will confirm on Monday whether most restrictions on coronaviruses, including social distancing and mandatory mask wear, will be lifted the following week as widely expected.


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