The Tunisian Ministry of Health revealed that four hot spots of coronavirus infections were recorded in Kairouan, Gabes, Medenine, and Sousse, raising fears of the spread of cases locally.
Director of the National Observatory of New and Emerging Diseases Nissaf Ben Alaya said the epidemiological situation was critical.
“We spotted during the past two weeks different hot spots in Kairouan, Gabes, Médenine, and Sousse,” the director said according to TAP. Control and testing were stepped up in these regions and specific measures were taken to contain the pandemic.
Ben Alaya highlighted the need to comply with health protocols put in place in various sectors and ensure the regular disinfection, urging citizens to show a sense of responsibility and adopt precautionary measures.
Meanwhile, the head of the quarantine committee at the Health Ministry, Mohamed al-Rabhi, revealed that 1,500 rooms have been prepared to receive patients that contracted the coronavirus, stressing that the authorities were preparing for an "uncomfortable" epidemic situation.
On Tuesday, Tunisian authorities decided to tighten the anti-coronavirus restrictions on arrival from France, Belgium, and Iceland starting Aug. 15.
The decision, issued during a ministerial session, also stated that all travelers coming to Tunisia from the three countries must present a negative PCR test for the coronavirus 72 hours before the trip, adding the arrivals will be subject to self-isolation.
The government also made wearing masks compulsory in several areas such as airports, Tunis railway stations, La Goulette port, hospitals, private clinics, and supermarkets, as well as boosting control in closed leisure spaces.
The Ministry of Health reported 21 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 1,738.
“Following a total of 976 lab tests, 23 cases tested positive, of which 21 were new cases, including 18 local cases and three imported cases, and two were previously confirmed cases still infected with this virus,” the ministry in a statement.
A total of 1,272 patients have recovered in Tunisia while 52 deaths were reported, according to the statement.