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Tunisia to lock down for four days from Thursday

Tunisian scouts carry out disinfection works against coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in Tunis, Tunisia on November 11, 2020 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]
Tunisian scouts carry out disinfection works against coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in Tunis, Tunisia on November 11, 2020 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Tunisia will impose a four-day national lockdown from Thursday along with lesser measures lasting until January 24 to combat a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases, Health Minister Fouzi Mehdi said on Tuesday.

"The situation is very critical and the vaccination will not come before February," Mehdi said.

Other measures will include rotating staffing in-state jobs to reduce people in offices and transport, school closures, longer curfew hours, and the removal of all chairs from cafes.

On Monday Tunisia announced a new record high for confirmed cases in a day of 3,074 and said the intensive care units in most public hospitals were full.

Thursday is a national holiday to mark the anniversary of Tunisia's revolution a decade ago when it threw off autocratic rule for democracy.

An earlier lockdown in the spring successfully contained the coronavirus but caused great financial pain in a country where economic woes have undermined faith in successive democratic governments.

READ: Tunisia PM cancels trip to Italy after minister gets covid

President Kais Saied has called for a partial lockdown in the regions experiencing rapid infection.

Tunisia banned travel among the country's regions and extended a nightly curfew in October, as it tried to contain the pandemic.

The new curfew will be from 4 pm to 6 am

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AfricaCoronavirusNewsTunisia
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