Tunisian Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi Says Coronavirus Deaths May Reach 7,000

Tunisian Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi on Monday said that the death toll from the coronavirus pandemic in the country may reach 6,000-7,000, reported CGTN Africa. He described the health situation in the country as very dangerous.

The number of coronavirus cases is increasing in Tunisia, which had managed to contain the virus earlier this year. The country of 11.5 million people has so far reported 70,000 coronavirus cases and 1,900 deaths.

According to the Tunisian Ministry of Health, the north African country has seen an increase in virus cases, recording up to 20 fatalities per day after easing restrictions in June.

The government is now seeking to reinforce restrictions to control the spread of the virus, while avoiding a fresh complete lockdown. It has already imposed a night curfew this month and banned travel between cities to slow a second wave of the pandemic.

 The preventive measures also included the ban of public and private events, from October 30 to November 15, and the prohibition of gatherings of more than four people in a public space except for public transport such as metros and buses. Prayers in mosques have also been suspended until November 15.

The Tunisian Prime Minister said that the government has given orders to security agencies to strictly enforce the wearing of masks and other measures.

“The measures we are taking have the objective of avoiding a situation of lockdown and also to preserve the health of the citizens”, Mechichi said.

Travelers are also required to present negative Covid-19 tests on arrival in the country. The Tunisian government is careful not to disrupt its tourism sector again, which is already facing heavy losses. The strict measures adopted through spring deepened the economic crisis, with unemployment soaring above 18 percent.

South Africa is the hardest-hit country in the continent with nearly 737,300 infections, 19,800 deaths, and 679,700 recoveries. President Cyril Ramaphosa also urged the citizens to continue to observe public health guidelines that remain in place to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 infections.

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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