TUNIS, TUNISIA – Authorities decided on a partial lockdown on Thursday after the number of coronavirus infections and related deaths in the country reached record levels over the past month, the highest daily rate since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.
584 people are currently in intensive care, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health. Only 1.8 million people out of a population of 12 million have been vaccinated, with 549,000 receiving two shots, owing to a scarcity of dosages that Tunisia’s foreign minister has repeatedly asked from international program contributors.
The COVID-19 impact on the country’s tourism sector which has already been negatively affected by the pandemic had hoped for revival in order to help the Tunisian economy but it is once again feeling the effects of the current state of health, all thanks to an increase in cases. Tunisia currently has one of the highest cases of coronavirus infection rates in Africa.
The governorates of Beja (northwest), Siliana, Zaghouan (north), and Kairouan (centre) are most hit by the health crisis and will be placed under complete lockdown as a result. In the four Greater Tunisian regions, as well as the seaside cities of Sousse and Monastir, gatherings such as communal prayers, public celebrations, sporting and cultural events are restricted until July 14. Cafes and restaurants will only be allowed to sell takeout or terrace meals, and the curfew has been extended from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
As Tunisian hospitals struggle with an inflow of new cases and personnel shortages, some coronavirus patients have been moved from beds to wheelchairs. Despite the establishment of a military care facility on the outskirts of Tunis with beds, monitoring equipment, and ventilators, the severe strain continues. Many health workers claim that a shortage of staff is the true issue, yet they are willing to welcome volunteer help.