Eastern Libya confirms first coronavirus case

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - The authorities running eastern Libya on Tuesday confirmed a first case of the coronavirus despite efforts to close borders and impose a curfew to limit social interactions.

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

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

The eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) of Khalifa Haftar, which is 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 Organization have said that Libya is poorly placed to withstand any major coronavirus outbreak as much of its infrastructure is damaged.

Reporting By Ayman al-Warfalli, writing by Angus McDowall; editing by Grant McCool