Tripoli/Sputnik: Libya’s Tobruk-based interim government ordered the shutting down of all land, air and sea border crossings on Thursday to prevent the risk of the coronavirus pandemic reaching the country, an Interior Ministry statement said.
"Order Number 12 -- Concerning the precautionary plan to prevent the emergence of the novel coronavirus in Libya … includes orders from His Excellency the Minister of the Interior, Counselor Ibrahim Bushnaf, to stop movement through land, sea and air crossings to and from Libya starting from Thursday, March 19, 2020, except for ambulances, freight and domestic flights," the edict from the Interior Ministry read.
Libya has not yet registered any coronavirus cases, and both the Tobruk-based elected authorities and the UN-backed Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) have instructed their health care agencies to be on high alert for any sign of the coronavirus.
Earlier this week, the GNA announced the suspension of all flights in or out of the country via the only working international airport, located in Tripoli. In the splintered country, Bushnaf’s edict on air travel is essentially void as the airport is beyond the control of his government. The interim government, however, with its Libyan National Army (LNA), controls a majority of seaports and large swathes of Libya’s territory, thus having the final say on many overland border crossings.
An uneasy truce currently holds in Libya but Tripoli, the strategic objective of the LNA, has experienced sporadic shelling especially in and around the airport.
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