TRIPOLI, June 2 (Xinhua) -- The National Center for Disease Control of Libya on Monday reported 12 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the caseload in the country to 168, with 52 recoveries and five deaths.
In a statement late Monday, the center said it received a total of 658 suspected cases, 646 of whom tested negative and 12 positive.
All the new infections are in southern Libya, the center said.
The southern city of Sabha recorded nearly half of the total number of COVID-19 cases in the North African country in less than a week after the announcement of the first case in the city.
The UN-backed government in the capital Tripoli recently decided to ban the entry into and exit from Sabha and imposed a 24-hour curfew for seven days starting from May 28, in order to fight the pandemic.
The Libyan authorities have taken a series of protective measures against the virus, including closing the country's borders, mosques and schools, banning public gatherings, and imposing curfews.