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Tunisia Mulls Reimposing Lockdown over Virus Outbreak

Tunisia Mulls Reimposing Lockdown over Virus Outbreak

Tuesday, 4 August, 2020 - 10:00
An elderly man wearing a face mask due to the COVID-19 pandemic walks with a crutch at the central market in the Tunisian capital Tunis. (AFP)

Director General of the National Observatory of New and Emerging Diseases Nissaf Ben Alaya announced that Tunisian health authorities are preparing to reimpose extraordinary health measures to contain the new COVID-19 outbreak.

Measures include making masks mandatory among travelers and workers at Carthage International Airport, which recently recorded 26 infections among its employees.

Tunisia reopened its borders on June 27, resumed flights and opened its tourist sites in early July, having announced that it had contained the outbreak. However, it has since recorded more than 350 infections in past 20 days alone.

Ben Alaya said about 3,000 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests will be carried out this week.

In her statements to a radio channel, she added that “work is currently underway to apply a decree making mask wearing mandatory.”

This comes after recording a number of infections among passengers, followed by local infections in different Tunisian regions, she noted.

Secretary General of the Tunis-Carthage International Airport Security Syndicate Anis Ouertani said the Syndicate has been demanding the temporary shutdown of the airport to carry out PCR tests for all its workers, disinfect all its facilities and look into its health measures.

Tunisia has reported 1,561 COVID-19 cases, 1,221 recoveries and 51 fatalities from the virus. It has carried out 96,288 tests.

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