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Tunisia runs out of intensive care beds as covid cases rise

Habib Burgiba Avenue remains nearly empty due to coronavirus pandemic restrictions during 10th anniversary of Tunisian Revolution in Tunis, Tunisia on 14 January 2021. [Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency]
Habib Burgiba Avenue remains nearly empty due to coronavirus pandemic restrictions during 10th anniversary of Tunisian Revolution in Tunis, Tunisia on 14 January 2021. [Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency]

Tunisian hospitals have run out of intensive care beds amid a surge in coronavirus cases, a member of the independent scientific committee that advises the government said yesterday.

Amenallah Messadi told Reuters the health system had been pushed to the point of collapse by a rise in cases driven by the more infectious coronavirus variant first detected in Britain.

The scientific committee was considering whether to recommend another border closure to avoid the spread of another variant first detected in Brazil, he added. Tunisia briefly closed its borders during the first wave of the virus.

"The situation is very critical, medical staff are exhausted, ICUs have reached their maximum capacity and deaths are on the rise," he said.

Tunisia has recorded 291,000 coronavirus cases and about 10,000 deaths. The daily death rate which has hovered around 80 for the past two weeks reached 95 on Tuesday.

Authorities closed all schools last week until 30 April and banned people from driving cars from 7pm to 5am to try and restrict movement.

READ: Is Tunisia's democracy in danger?

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AfricaCoronavirusNewsTunisia
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