WHO Official Urges Tunisian Government To Speed Up Coronavirus Vaccination

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday urged the Tunisian government to speed up coronavirus vaccination, reported News 18.

“The epidemiological data are going in the right direction,” said Yves Souteyrand, the WHO representative in Tunisia, told a news conference. “We have the feeling that the peak of the epidemic may have passed.”

The WHO warned that the risk of a health disaster still remains in Tunisia due to the short supply of vaccines, overwhelmed hospitals, shortages of oxygen, and the highly contagious Delta variant rampaging through the country’s 12 million population.

Souteyrand said the delta variant was responsible for more than 90 percent of cases and the impact of family gatherings during a recent religious holiday was hard to evaluate but could set back progress made.

Notably, the North African country reported the worst official COVID-19 mortality rate in the world over the past seven days, with 10.64 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. The number of deaths due to the pandemic has exceeded 20,000 in the country.

Tunisia is also currently facing a political crisis after President Kais Saied suspended the parliament and took over power, a move his critics said was a coup.

The WHO official said the relations between the WHO and the Tunisian health ministry have not been affected by the ongoing political crisis.

After the shock move last month, President Saied has set a coronavirus crisis unit, which will be supervised by a high-level military official, to help manage the country’s outbreak.

On Monday, President Saied said Tunisia has received 6 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine as donations from friendly countries, as the country struggles to stop the rapid spread of COVID-19. He said that Tunisia’s vaccination rate will be accelerated.

On Monday, the Tunisian health ministry also announced the start of a mobile vaccination campaign in several regions.

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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