Libya: Lack of COVID-19 tests when boats return risks surge in cases, warns IRC

Source IRC
Posted 10 Jul 2020
Originally published 9 Jul 2020

New York, NY, July 9, 2020 — Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers intercepted at sea and returned to Libya must be provided with COVID-19 testing to prevent them falling through the cracks and being unable to access the care they need, the International Rescue Committee warns.

Since the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Libya on March 25, over 3,100 people have been brought back to Libya’s shores - and not a single one has been tested for the disease.

Given that 28 migrants who left Libya for Italy in June tested positive upon arrival in Sicily, the IRC is extremely concerned about this gap in the country’s COVID-19 response and is calling for testing to be rapidly scaled-up - both at Libya’s disembarkation points and across the country - to ensure all those in need of support are able to receive it...