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Tunisia Gradually Eases Coronavirus Restrictions, Signs of Life Return

Tunisia Gradually Eases Coronavirus Restrictions, Signs of Life Return

Tuesday, 5 May, 2020 - 08:15
Emergency doctors exit the Tunisian health ministry after collecting supplies (AFP)

Signs of life are returning to Tunisia after authorities began easing restrictions with the gradual lifting of the comprehensive lockdown imposed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tunisia started the first stage of the national strategy for a partial lifting of lockdown which includes three phases: from May 4 to 24, from May 24 to June 4, and from June 4 to 14.

Several employees have resumed their work in the public and private sectors.

Authorities also resumed transportation within the governorates, given that passengers obtain a license to move around and wear protective masks to avoid the reemergence of the coronavirus.

Several shops, including blacksmiths, hairdressers, and carpenters opened for business. Taxi drivers also began transporting passengers who are afraid to use public transportation where the risk of contracting the virus is considerably higher.

Health Minister Abdellatif Mekki stressed that it is obligatory to wear masks, reiterating the importance of maintaining social distancing and taking precautions while using public transportation during the upcoming period.

Authorities announced that people returning to work should obtain administrative licenses, while respecting health measures.

The Tunisian authorities indicated that the gradual lifting of lockdown could be reversed in the event of a second wave of virus infections.

Abdulhamid Ammar, an employee, said people should not be reassured about the new measures, stressing that everyone must adhere to the health measures “until we get out of this dark tunnel.”

Moez al-Hazmi, who is a barber, happily confirmed that the new stage is like “a second life” in facing the virus, indicating that people should be careful after the pandemic succeeded in eliminating the normal lifestyle. He indicated that it is unreasonable to continue living during these conditions.

Tunisia has 1,018 confirmed coronavirus cases with 406 recovering and 43 deaths, while 643 cases are under medical observation.

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