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Preliminary Survey to Understand the Epidemiology of COVID-19 and Its Socio-economic Impacts in Libya

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Fortune J Health Sci 2021; 4 (1): 243-256 DOI: 10.26502/fjhs020
Fortune Journal of Health Sciences Vol. 4 No. 1 - March 2021 243
Original Article
Preliminary Survey to Understand the Epidemiology of COVID-19
and Its Socio-economic Impacts in Libya
Abdusalam Sharef Mahmoud*1, Abdulgader Dhawi2, Aziza Sulieman Mayouf3, Ahlam
Masaud Ellafi4,5
1Department of Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tripoli, Tripoli, Libya
2Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tripoli, Tripoli,
Li by a
3Quality Control Department, Central Blood Bank, Tripoli, Libya
4Histology and Genetics Department, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tripoli, Tripoli, Libya
5Medical Department, , Central Blood Bank, Tripoli, Libya
*Corresponding Author: Abdusalam Sharef Mahmoud, Department of Preventive Medicine, Faculty of
Veterinary Medicine, University of Tripoli, P.O. Box 13662, Tripoli, Libya; E-mail: abd.mahmoud@uot.edu.ly
Received: 14 January 2021; Accepted: 26 January 2021; Published: 02 February 2021
Citation: Abdusalam Sharef Abdusalam Mahmoud, Aziza Sulieman Mayouf, Ahlam Masaud Ellafi, Abdulgader
Dhawi. Preliminary Survey to Understand the Epidemiology of COVID-19 and Its Socio-economic Impacts in
Libya. Fortune Journal of Health Sciences 4 (2021): 243-256.
Abstract
Background: During the last three decades there are
many viral infections emerging and re-emerge with
high socio-economic and public health impacts
worldwide. The Coronavirus Severe Acute
Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in
China in late December 2019. Later, on 30th Jan
2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has
constituted the COVID-19 as a public health
emergency of international concern (PHEIC).
Objectives: To understand the epidemiological
patterns and assessing potential socio-economic
impacts of the COVID-19 is critical and how to
determine these impacts on social life is considered
fundamental. Therefore, the present preliminary
survey was conducted firstly to understand the
Fortune J Health Sci 2021; 4 (1): 243-256 DOI: 10.26502/fjhs020
Fortune Journal of Health Sciences Vol. 4 No. 1 - March 2021 244
epidemiological situation of COVID-19 in the
country, and secondly to determine the
socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 among
Libyan population to build up strategies concerning
socio-economic response by the technical team
committee.
Materials and Methods: All relevant data regarding
the epidemiological situation of COVID-19 in Libya
was collected and interpreted. Regarding
socioeconomic impacts, the questionnaire was
designated and distributed online among the
population in the period (April May 2020) to
determine the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19
among society. The questionnaire was distributed and
filled-in online. Unexpectedly, the total number of
participants was relatively (141 participants). All the
answers of the respondents were received through the
electronic e-mail that linked with the software
program (Monkey-Survey), and the obtained data
was processed and analysed accordingly.
Results: The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in
Libya was estimated to be reported on 24th March
2020. The results revealed that, from 24th March to
22 April 2020, during 30 days, about (1181) samples
screened by RT-PCR, the results revealed that (59),
(1), and (15) confirmed cases, death, and recovered
respectively. An average positivity rate of SARS -
CoV-2 was estimated to be (13.92 %), while the case
fatality ratio (CFR) was estimated to be (1.95 %).
The socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 were
estimated to be highly variable and were influenced
by civil war around the capital city Tripoli since last
April 2019 and could be as predisposing factors that
worsen the situation by increasing impacts of
COVID-19 in the country. In regards to impacts on
the social relationship among relatives, the
questionnaire survey was demonstrated that 29.78%
not affected, (46.80%) affected and (23.40%) highly
affected. Questionnaire survey revealed that (17.14%;
95% CI: 10.82%-23.22%) were belonging to the
high-risk group to be infected by SARS-CoV-2.
Questionnaire survey reported COVID-19 economic
impacts of low impact (24.11%), relatively impacts
(46.10%), highly impacts (19.85%) and no impacts
(9.92%) among respondents. Regarding the job
employments, only (5.05%) lost a job.
Conclusion: The epidemiological situation of the
SARS-CoV-2 constant during the first three months
of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our pilot questionnaire
survey makes a snapshot of the socio-economic
impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the Libyan
societies in different categories and degrees ranging
from lower to high impacts that depend on the
affected area. In spite, Libyan Authority adapted
many strategies planned to combat the pandemic on a
different level according to the criteria recommended
by the WHO to fight against the COVID-19. Still, the
country is facing many challenges in fighting
coronavirus pandemic to prevent jeopardizing lives.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Pandemic;
Socioeconomic; Libya
Introduction
During the last three decades, there are many viral
infections emerging and re-emerging with high socio-
economic and public health impacts worldwide. The
Coronavirus Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
(SARS-CoV-2) emerged in China in late December
2019 [1,2]. SARS-CoV-2 expand across China and
slipover beyond with highly case fatality reports in
Fortune J Health Sci 2021; 4 (1): 243-256 DOI: 10.26502/fjhs020
Fortune Journal of Health Sciences Vol. 4 No. 1 - March 2021 245
some countries [3]. Later, on 30th Jan 2020, the
World Health Organization (WHO) has constituted
the COVID-19 as a public health emergency of
international concern (PHEIC) [3]. During February
2020, the chines healthy authority reported (80,000)
and (2900) of COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths
respectively [4]. Consequently, SARS-COV-2
slipover and struck many countries worldwide with
great significantly increase of risk of dying impacts,
according to the WHO report, by the end of March
2020 more than 200 countries were reported SARS-
CoV-2 infection and approximately 750 890
confirmed cases and 36 405 deaths [5]. However, on
11th March WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic
of international concern [6], as a result, this
announcement many countries worldwide
implemented their strategies to contain and mitigate
the impact of novel SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.
Following the recommendations of WHO for
prevention and control of COVID-19, and also as
refer to the chinese healthy authority strategies for
mitigation of both public health and economic
impacts of COVID-19. On 23 January 2020 chinese
Authority announced the Wuhan Lockdown
consequently the travel restrictions were also
enforced on the nearby cities, and implemented
necessary quarantines, strict hygienic measurements
and social distancing to contain the pandemic [7,8].
Unfortunately, due to unpredictable impacts of the
virus on the public by causing high morbidity and
mortality rates within short period of time in some
countries [4,6], and therefore those countries were
not well-prepared to face such challenges for combat
COVID-19 pandemic due to weakness in the public
health system as well as those having an economic
crises and economic downturn. These impacts greatly
expand to influence on many sectors especially on
the small and medium markets that might be an end
to the worst economic downturn. The Libyan
government implemented lockdown measures since
17th April 2020 such as schools and universities
lockdown locking down all business private factories,
workshops, and all private sectors. However, the first
COVID-19 case in Libya was reported on 24th
March 2020 [9,10]. Since then the pandemic in Libya
has been a source of considerable panic for most
people mainly in the capital Tripoli. This panic is
mainly due to the weak health system in the country
besides the daily suffering of civil war consequences
since April 2019 in the Tripoli region. Assessing the
potential socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19
is critical and how to determine these impacts on
social life is considered fundamental. Therefore, the
present preliminary survey was conducted firstly to
understand the epidemiological situation of COVID-
19 in the country, and secondly to determine the
socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 among
Libyan population.
Material and Methods
Exploiting of epidemiological data
All relevant data regarding the epidemiological
situation of COVID-19 in Libya was collected and
analysed and interpreted accordingly (Descriptive
statistics were computed).
Questionnaire design
The questionnaire was designated and distributed
among the population to determine the socio-
economic impacts of COVID-19 among the society.
Questionnaire structure was designated in English
version, therefore, all relevant data collection tools
were first prepared in English, then translated to
Fortune J Health Sci 2021; 4 (1): 243-256 DOI: 10.26502/fjhs020
Fortune Journal of Health Sciences Vol. 4 No. 1 - March 2021 246
Arabic language, then retranslated to English to
check for consistency.
Questionnaire Survey
The designated questionnaire was distributed and
filled online. All the answers of the respondents were
received through the electronic e-mail that linked
with the software program (Monkey Survey), and the
obtained data were processed and analysed
accordingly.
Results
Epidemiological patterns of COVID-19
The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Libya was
reported on 24th March 2020. The epidemiological
data revealed that only one confirmed positive case
of COVID-19 was reported according to NCDC,
Libya. The results revealed that, from 24th March to
22 April 2020, during 30 days, about (1181) samples
screened by RT.PCR, the results revealed that (59),
(1), and (15) confirmed cases, death, and recovered
respectively (Figure 1). There were (9) and (13)
COVID-19 reported cases on 15th and 16th April
respectively, however, by mid-April 2020,
approximately (63) confirmed cases as compared to
neighboring countries (Figures 2 & Figure 3). During
May 2020, approximately (6066) samples were
screened by RT-PCR at reference laboratory of
WHO, NCDC, Libya, and the results reported of
(156), (99), (52) and (5) of COVID-19 confirmed
cases, active cases, recovered and deaths respectively
(Figure 4). During Jun 2020, according to the
epidemiological data in the most sampled Libya cities
there was variability in the temporal and the spatial
distribution of COVID-19 in different Libyan
provinces (Figure 5). The highest and lowest of
(22.33%) and (4.90%) positivity rate of SARS-CoV-
2 were reported in Zliten city and Benghazi city
respectively (Figure 6). An average positivity rate of
SARS-CoV-2 was estimated to be (13.92 %), while
the case fatality ratio (CFR) was estimated to be
(1.95 %) (Figure 7).
Figure 1: Distribution of COVID.19 total cases, new cases and deaths over time 24 March-30 April 2020
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
24-Mar
26-Mar
28-Mar
30-Mar
1-Apr
3-Apr
5-Apr
7-Apr
9-Apr
11-Apr
13-Apr
15-Apr
17-Apr
19-Apr
21-Apr
23-Apr
25-Apr
27-Apr
29-Apr
Total cases new cases death
Fortune J Health Sci 2021; 4 (1): 243-256 DOI: 10.26502/fjhs020
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Figure 2: Distribution of COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths in some neighbouring and African countries as of
17 April 2020
Figure 3: Daily reported cases of COVID-19 from 05 May to 09 Jun
7201
8834
1022
5219
63
778
170
763
8
2950
2104
7572
0
1000
2000
3000
4000
5000
6000
7000
8000
9000
10000
confirmed cases Deaths
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
Fortune J Health Sci 2021; 4 (1): 243-256 DOI: 10.26502/fjhs020
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Figure 4: The COVID-19 confirmed cases, active cases, and deaths during May 2020
Figure 5: COVID-19 confirmed cases and recovered in the most sampled Libya cities during first week of Jun 2020
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
180
1-May
2-May
3-May
4-May
5-May
6-May
7-May
8-May
9-May
10-May
11-May
12-May
13-May
14-May
15-May
16-May
17-May
18-May
19-May
20-May
21-May
22-May
23-May
24-May
25-May
26-May
27-May
28-May
29-May
30-May
31-May
Total cases new cases death
0
1000
2000
3000
4000
5000
6000
Tripoli Benghazi Misurata Zliten Sabha
confirmed cases recovered
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Figure 6: The positivity rate of COVID-19 in the most sampled Libyan cities
Figure 7: Case Fatality Ratio of COVID-19 from 01 May-09 Jun 2020
Socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19
In this questionnaire survey (62.30%) and (37.68%)
of male and females respectively enrolled in this
study. Of the respondents enrolled in this report, (94
percent) were > 25 years of age. The questionnaire
survey demonstrated that (90.78%) of the
participants’ resident in the city while (9.30%) in the
village. In regards to the history of the travelling
outside the country at the beginning of the COVID-
19 pandemic, the results revealed that (86.53%) and
(13.47%) was not travelling and travelling out the
country respectively (Figure 8). Questionnaire survey
0.00%
1.00%
2.00%
3.00%
4.00%
5.00%
6.00%
1-May
3-May
5-May
7-May
9-May
11 - M a y
13 - M a y
15 - M a y
17 - M a y
19 - M a y
21 - M a y
23 - M a y
25 - M a y
27 - M a y
29 - M a y
31 - M a y
2-Jun
4-Jun
6-Jun
8-Jun
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Fortune Journal of Health Sciences Vol. 4 No. 1 - March 2021 250
reports of (17.14%; 95% CI: 10.82%-23.22%) were
belonging to the high risk group to be infected by
SARS-CoV-2 (Figure 9). About (19.14%, 95% CI:
12.65%-25.64%) of the respondents had a history of
exposure to respiratory disease infection during the
last three months. The results revealed that (4.90%)
was under quarantine (21.62% was in the quarantine
outside the country while 78.38% was in quarantine
inside the country). The results showed that
(18.81%), (25.74%), (0.99%), (12.87%) and
(41.58%) of the population receive the information
and recommendations concerning SARS-CoV-2,
from TVs, Facebook, friends and colleagues,
governments and medical/specialists respectively.
Only (2.9%) of the respondents enrolled in this study
do not believe the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the
country. Regarding the government transparency the
responses were estimated to be (30.39%), (44.12%)
and (25.49%) Lack transparency, less transparency
and transparency respectively. About of (41.18 %)
and (58.82 %) agree and disagree respectively with
the precaution measures taken by the government to
combat the COVID.19. Regarding the implemented
strategy for prevention and control of COVID.19, the
results revealed that (13.86%) and (86.14%)
sufficient strategy and insufficient strategy
respectively. Regarding the Social (family)
relationship before the pandemic, the results reported
of (0.98%), (5.88%), (7.84%), (33.33%) and
(51.96%) of very weak, weak, good, very good and
excellent of the relationships respectively, while
impacts on the social relationship among relatives,
the questionnaire survey was demonstrated that,
(29.78%) no impact, (46.80%) impact and (23.40%)
highly impact (Figures 10). The questionnaire survey
reported if the daily lifestyle changed positively due
to COVID-19 outbreak, the results showed that
(39.71%) changed positively while (60.28%) non-
changed. In regards to the question, how far
communication with your family members has
changed due to COVID-19, the results reported of
(17%) changed to better, (29%) changed little and
(54%) not changed (Figure 11). Regarding the
economic impacts, the questionnaire survey reported
of (46.10%) relative impacts (Figure 12), and
according to the answers of the participants, (94%)
and (3.96%) of the respondents agree and disagree
respectively by inflation and increases in prices of
Libyan market. However, according to questionnaire
results, the most goods increase in prices were ration
goods and food (62.38%), disinfectants (27.72%),
fruits and vegetables (3.96%), drugs (2.97%), water
(1.98%) and petroleum and gas (0.99%) (Figure 13).
Our questionnaire survey showed that (45.60%) of
the participants were running their business from
home via the internet. About (32.99%) and (10.31%)
of the participants were reduced and suspended from
their salary respectively, and that was during the last
three months of COVID-19 pandemic. Only (5.05%)
of the participants lost their job. Our questionnaire
survey reported that (35.71%) of the participants
have other sources of income. Regarding the
question, has the government compensated the
merchants during the closure, (75.17%) non-
compensation, (2.83%) compensation and (21.98%)
do not know.
Fortune J Health Sci 2021; 4 (1): 243-256 DOI: 10.26502/fjhs020
Fortune Journal of Health Sciences Vol. 4 No. 1 - March 2021 251
Figure 8: Travelling and non-travelling of Libyan citizen, May 2020 during COVID-19 pandemic
Figure 9: Risk group and non-risk group of COVID-19 among Libyan population
0.00%
10.00%
20.00%
30.00%
40.00%
50.00%
60.00%
70.00%
80.00%
90.00%
100.00%
Travelling abroad non Travelling
17.14%
82.85%
Risk Group Non Risk Group
Fortune J Health Sci 2021; 4 (1): 243-256 DOI: 10.26502/fjhs020
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Figure 10: Impacts of COVID-19 on Social Relationships
Figure 11: The daily life style positively changes due to COVID-19 outbreaks
0.00%
5.00%
10.00%
15.00%
20.00%
25.00%
30.00%
35.00%
40.00%
45.00%
50.00%
No Impacts Impacts highyl Impacts
0.00%
10.00%
20.00%
30.00%
40.00%
50.00%
60.00%
70.00%
yes no
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Figure 12: Economic impacts of COVID-19
Figure 13: The basic goods which were most increased in price in Libya due to COVID-19
Discussion
The epidemiological situation of SARS-CoV-2 in
Libya during the first three months of COVID-19
pandemic was unclear, and there was a scarcity of
information regarding the epidemiological situation
of SARS-CoV-2 in Libya. The first case of COVID-
19 in Libya was reported on 24th March 2020 [9,10].
Comparatively, the first confirmed case of COVID-
19 in Tunisia was reported on 4th March 2020 [11],
in Algeria on 25th February 2020, in Morocco on 2nd
March 2020 [12], and in Egypt on 14th February
2020. In spite the worst and unpredictable reports of
0.00%
5.00%
10.00%
15.00%
20.00%
25.00%
30.00%
35.00%
40.00%
45.00%
50.00%
Low Impacts Relativley Impacts Highly Impacts No Impacts
0.00%
10.00%
20.00%
30.00%
40.00%
50.00%
60.00%
70.00%
Water petroleum
and gas
Disinfectants Ration goods
and foods
Medicine Vegetables
Fortune J Health Sci 2021; 4 (1): 243-256 DOI: 10.26502/fjhs020
Fortune Journal of Health Sciences Vol. 4 No. 1 - March 2021 254
epidemic situation of COVID-19 on regional and
international level [3], and highly morbidity and
mortality rates have been reported of SARS-CoV-2,
still, the epidemiological situation of the SARS-CoV-
2 constant during the first three months of the
COVID-19 pandemic [13]. The temporal and the
spatial distribution of COVID-19 in different Libyan
provinces was difficult to be estimated, however, the
accuracy of the epidemiological data of SARS-CoV-
2 across the country was significantly variable.
Therefore, the epidemiological situation of COVID-
19 in the country seems to be unclear and might be
getting the worst scenario and the country might
switch to the cluster phase of COVID-19 pandemic
phases [14]. Clearly, the number of screened samples
per day is not representative in some cities, due to
lower and shortage in the supplement of tests.
Consequently, the most RT-PCR screening tests were
performed only for the suspected cases. The
confirmed cases of COVID-19 were estimated to be
lower than hundred cases from March through April
[9]. According to the WHO recommendations,
timeline updating and guideline for COVID-19
prevention and control, the countries have reported
less than a hundred cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection
among their population still has the opportunity to
combat the SARS-CoV-2 transmission within their
territories [3], consequently, these imposed of prompt
triggers responses by the Libya authority to conduct
an early full lockdown due to an escalation of
COVID-19 cases between 15th and 16th April 2020.
Therefore, the questionnaire survey reported a
variable influence of lockdown due to the pandemic
on social relationships within families, relatives and
friends. Indeed the lockdown significantly influences
on social relationships within the family and as well
as between the relatives. The Libyan social
relationship as many other family custom lives in
African and in Asian countries in which are
characterized by social relationships [15,16]. The
socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 were
estimated to be highly variable and were influenced
by civilian war around the capital city Tripoli since
last April 2019 and could be a predisposing factor
that worsen the situation by increasing impacts of
COVID-19 in the country [17]. Tripoli is the largest
city in northwest and the capital of Libya with a
higher number of population as compared to other
cities of the country, and their population number is
estimated to be 1,165,085 million [18]. The results
reported that a relatively low number of Libyan
expatriates were outside the country during the
pandemic and Libyan government decided to bring
all their expatriates. Accordingly the scientific advice
committee conducted instructions by following the
national strategies of prevention and control of
COVID-19. In spite of only (13.47%) were travelling
outside the country during COVID-19 pandemic,
however, According to the epidemiological data of
COVID-19, the epidemiological situation of COVID-
19 dramatically influenced by return of expatriates.
Therefore, all passengers who have been abroad will
be put under quarantine for 14 days, as recommended
by the scientific advice committee for combating of
COVID-19 in Libya. The Libyan government
conducted several measurements to combat the
COVID-19 pandemic, and their measurements were
based on a national strategy for prevention and
control of COVID-19. In spite of instability of the
country and shortage in health facilities due to the
war since April 2019 [19]. Inflation has greatly
increased by two fold as compared before the
coronavirus pandemic. Its well-known, Libyan
government's income depends on oil production,
Fortune J Health Sci 2021; 4 (1): 243-256 DOI: 10.26502/fjhs020
Fortune Journal of Health Sciences Vol. 4 No. 1 - March 2021 255
therefore, overall impacts of COVID-19 on Libyan
governmental sectors seem to be relatively low.
Clearly, our data is not well representative nor to
target population study. And online survey has some
limitations and could not be applicable, reachable and
accessible to the most affected population, and
instability in the country causes some difficulties to
certain areas (population) to have internet access and
to respond to our online questionnaires therefore,
lead to some limitations in respondent obtainability.
However, the present study results, still valuable at
least in the surveyed population, and credible in line
with other studies [15,20] that reported socio-
economic impacts of the COVID-19.
Conclusion
The epidemiological situation of the SARS-CoV-2
constant during the first three months of the COVID-
19 pandemic. The temporal and the spatial
distribution of COVID-19 in different Libyan
provinces was difficult to be estimated, however, the
accuracy of the epidemiological data of SARS-CoV-
2 across the country was significantly variable. Our
questionnaire survey makes a snapshot of the great
economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the
Libyan societies in different categories and degrees
that ranging from lower to highly impacts that
depend on the affected area. In spite Libyan
Authority adopted many strategies planned to combat
the pandemic on a different level according to the
criteria that recommended by the WHO to fight
against the COVID-19. Still, the country is facing
challenges to fighting against the coronavirus
pandemic to prevent jeopardizing lives.
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... However, in the 1960s, CoVs were capable of causing human illness usually consistent with self-limiting respiratory infections in humans [1]. In recent years newly identified human 19), and still of great public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) [2,3]. COVID-19, emerged in China when several cases of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) were reported in Wuhan City, China with unknown etiology [4]. ...
... March 2020, still the epidemiological patterns of COVID-19 among different Libyan cities clearly variables [3], however, three months later, the first officially confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported in Tarhouna, and it seems to be reported before that time and might be overlapped and the reason being that instability of the city was made it difficult to implement the surveillance and trace back of infected cases in the city. In fact, there is still a scarcity of information regarding the epidemiological situation of COVID-19 in the Tarhouna city, and in the country in general, and the epidemic curve of COVID-19 in Libya has risen sharply since July 2020, and the country entered the cluster pandemic stage [3]. ...
... March 2020, still the epidemiological patterns of COVID-19 among different Libyan cities clearly variables [3], however, three months later, the first officially confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported in Tarhouna, and it seems to be reported before that time and might be overlapped and the reason being that instability of the city was made it difficult to implement the surveillance and trace back of infected cases in the city. In fact, there is still a scarcity of information regarding the epidemiological situation of COVID-19 in the Tarhouna city, and in the country in general, and the epidemic curve of COVID-19 in Libya has risen sharply since July 2020, and the country entered the cluster pandemic stage [3]. Regardless, the obtained results reflect a high percentage of infection in this city, however, the infection rate might be substantially higher than reported. ...
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Background: During the last couple of years, the emerging and re-emerging viral diseases have been spilled over and were considered of great international concern, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Corona virus (MERS-CoV), Ebola virus disease and Severe Acute Respiratory distress Syndrome (SARS-CoV-2). SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has spread rapidly around the world since emerging in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. Objectives: The study was conducted to investigate the epidemiological situation of COVID-19 and risk factors associated with SRAS-CoV-2 infection in Tarhouna city. Materials and Methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted to investigate the epidemiological situation of COVID-19 and study the risk factors (age, gender, history of contact and comorbidity condition) associated with infection in the city of Tarhouna from December 2020 to Jan 2021. All data were entered into the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and coded for analysis. Influence of variables like age, gender, comorbidity and history of contact on infection was calculated. A descriptive statistical analysis was performed to analyze the epidemiological characteristics of the confirmed cases of COVID-19 using SPSS version 22. For each proportion the percent and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated. Chi square test was used to investigate the level of association among variables at the significance level of p<0.05. Results: The present study reported 540 confirmed cases of COVID-19 screened by RT.PCR. The result showed the statistical significant (.001) at p < 0.05 among four age categories (≤19 year 5.50%, 20-39 year 42.41%, 40-59 year 48.30% and ≥60 year 4.62%). Significantly (P=.04), the gender influence on infection rate of SARS-CoV-2 amongst target population. The infection rate was estimated to be 70.74% (95% CI: 66.90%-4.58%) and 29.50% (95% CI: 25.42%-33.10%) in male and female respectively. Our results reported no statistical difference (P=.09) among comorbidity and non-comorbidity cases. It well known that the comorbidities patients are considered most risk group. Comparatively, the infection was found to be higher in history contact 92.7% (95% CI: 90.59%-94.96%) than non-contact 7.2% (95% CI: 5.04%-9.41%). unexpectedly, the infection was estimated to be 72.59% (95% CI: 68.83%-76.35%) and 27.27% (95% CI: 23.65%-31.17%) among asymptomatic and symptomatic patients respectively. Conclusion: This study is the first in the city of Tarhuona to provide information on the epidemiological characterization of COVID pandemic in this city. The study emphasizes the significant effects of older age, male gender and underling diseases on the risk of mortality among COVID-19 patients. In spite, we excluded risk factors that constituted laboratory findings, vital signs or symptoms and silent cases of COVID-19, clearly that, asymptomatic cases could be underestimated. Therefore, it is recommended to take preventative measures more seriously in the elderly patients, and asymptomatic cases that play a potential silent role in COVID-19 epidemiology, and larger scale studies are highly recommended to investigate deeply the epidemiology of this virus among the Libyan population.
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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a pandemic that affected almost all countries worldwide with more than 29,439,120 confirmed cases and 932,486 deaths recorded till on September 14, 2020. However, on May 25, 2020, after 2 months from the first reported case of COVID-19 in Libya, the country was among very few countries in the world that had very few cases of COVID-19 with a total of 75 confirmed cases and three deaths during the first 2 months since the detection of the first case on March 24, 2020. Based on the global epidemiological pattern of the disease, the magnitude of COVID-19 in Libya could have been much worse. However, the reality is eccentrically different and the epidemiology exhibited different scenario with very few cases being recorded during the first 2 months of pandemic in Libya. In this article, a review of COVID-19 situation in Libya is presented with thoughts about the potential reasons that could explain the very few cases of COVID-19 in the country in context with the global figures of the pandemic.
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Aim: To evaluate the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic (COVID-19) on the access to rheumatology care for patients with chronic rheumatic diseases (CRD) in the Arab countries. Method: A web-based cross-sectional survey was designed by the Arab Adult Arthritis Awareness group (AAAA) consisting of 16 rheumatologists representing countries from the Arab League of Associations for Rheumatology (ArLAR) and was validated by the ArLAR scientific committee. The survey was disseminated online through social media and patients' association channels between May 8 and May 22, 2020. The steering committee developed recommendations to improve the care of patients with CRD during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: A total of 2163 patients were included in the analysis; 72% were female; mean age was 40 years (SD 11.9). The Levant, the Gulf, and North Africa contributed almost equally to the sample. The pandemic had a significant negative impact on rheumatology visits in 82% of cases, access to hydroxychloroquine (47%), and chronic medication persistency (28%). The negative impact on rheumatology visits was associated with female gender, country, medication non-persistency, isolation due to COVID-19, and impact on mental health. Sixty-one patients (2.8%) stated that they had COVID-19, 5% said that a close contact was infected, and 47% were in isolation because of COVID-19. Conclusion: The current study highlights the deleterious consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the continuity of rheumatology care. Therefore, an action plan, including establishing a telemedicine platform, securing drug availability, and promoting medication persistence through the appropriate communication channels, is strongly recommended.
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It is very exceptional that a new disease becomes a true pandemic. Since its emergence in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, has spread to nearly all countries of the world in only a few months. However, in different countries, the COVID-19 epidemic takes variable shapes and forms in how it affects communities. Until now, the insights gained on COVID-19 have been largely dominated by the COVID-19 epidemics and the lockdowns in China, Europe and the USA. But this variety of global trajectories is little described, analysed or understood. In only a few months, an enormous amount of scientific evidence on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 has been uncovered (knowns). But important knowledge gaps remain (unknowns). Learning from the variety of ways the COVID-19 epidemic is unfolding across the globe can potentially contribute to solving the COVID-19 puzzle. This paper tries to make sense of this variability—by exploring the important role that context plays in these different COVID-19 epidemics; by comparing COVID-19 epidemics with other respiratory diseases, including other coronaviruses that circulate continuously; and by highlighting the critical unknowns and uncertainties that remain. These unknowns and uncertainties require a deeper understanding of the variable trajectories of COVID-19. Unravelling them will be important for discerning potential future scenarios, such as the first wave in virgin territories still untouched by COVID-19 and for future waves elsewhere.
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The COVID-19 or coronavirus pandemic which has affected the global economy has also affected the African economy through spillovers to African countries. Many African countries have taken bold quarantine and lockdown measures to control the spread of COVID-19 although this has come at a cost such as the collapse of health systems and a painful economic crisis or recession. A coordinated and bold response by African authorities is needed. First, public funds should be provided to improve the capacity of health systems in African countries. Second, financial support should be provided to individuals, entrepreneurs and corporations to help them cope with the adverse effect of the coronavirus crisis. Third, employers should be granted incentives to preserve employment during the crisis to avoid mass layoff of workers. Finally, the Central bank in African countries should provide liquidity and credit support as well as asset purchase programs to prevent credit and liquidity crunch in domestic financial markets.
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Objective To study the clinical characteristics of patients in Zhejiang province, China, infected with the 2019 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2) responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-2019). Design Retrospective case series. Setting Seven hospitals in Zhejiang province, China. Participants 62 patients admitted to hospital with laboratory confirmed SARS-Cov-2 infection. Data were collected from 10 January 2020 to 26 January 2020. Main outcome measures Clinical data, collected using a standardised case report form, such as temperature, history of exposure, incubation period. If information was not clear, the working group in Hangzhou contacted the doctor responsible for treating the patient for clarification. Results Of the 62 patients studied (median age 41 years), only one was admitted to an intensive care unit, and no patients died during the study. According to research, none of the infected patients in Zhejiang province were ever exposed to the Huanan seafood market, the original source of the virus; all studied cases were infected by human to human transmission. The most common symptoms at onset of illness were fever in 48 (77%) patients, cough in 50 (81%), expectoration in 35 (56%), headache in 21 (34%), myalgia or fatigue in 32 (52%), diarrhoea in 3 (8%), and haemoptysis in 2 (3%). Only two patients (3%) developed shortness of breath on admission. The median time from exposure to onset of illness was 4 days (interquartile range 3-5 days), and from onset of symptoms to first hospital admission was 2 (1-4) days. Conclusion As of early February 2020, compared with patients initially infected with SARS-Cov-2 in Wuhan, the symptoms of patients in Zhejiang province are relatively mild.
  • China Wuhan
Wuhan, China. International Journal of Infectious Diseases 91 (2020): 264-266.
A Historic Quarantine: China's attempt to curb a viral outbreak is a radical
  • J Hamblin
Hamblin J. A Historic Quarantine: China's attempt to curb a viral outbreak is a radical