Tunisia: Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh Announces Lockdown Extension Until May 4

The Tunisia government has extended the lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus to May 4, Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh confirmed on Sunday, reported Reuters. He said the government will decide on easing restrictions gradually on some economic activities early next month.

The situation in the country will “soon be mastered”, Prime Minister Fakhfakh said in a televised interview late Sunday.

He said this would allow for a step-by-step re-opening of the economy and society.

Tunisia has been placed under a 6pm to 6am curfew since March 17 and authorities imposed stricter lockdown orders on March 22. On March 31, Tunisian National Security Council decided to extend the general confinement for two more weeks starting from April 5.

“Up to now we have been successful,” Fakhfakh said.

“But we are not yet through” the pandemic, he warned, declaring that the government want to flatten the curve of the number of infections.

The government has said it expected Tunisia’s economy would shrink by up to 4.3 per cent, the steepest drop since independence in 1956, because of the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak.

The North African country confirmed its first case of the respiratory disease in early March. Since then, 866 positive coronavirus cases have been reported in the country, with 37 deaths.

Other African countries including Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe have all extended lockdowns aimed at curbing the spread of the pandemic. Ghana is the first African country to have lifted targeted lockdown on two major regions in the country citing improved testing of the coronavirus pandemic across the West African country.

More than 23,500 coronavirus cases have been reported across Africa. The World Health Organization has warned that the coronavirus may be on the verge of ravaging the African continent, causing a possible 10 million severe cases in the coming months.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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