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Tunisia: Army takes charge of COVID-19 vaccination operations

Tunisian surgeons at a COVID-19 ward in Kairouan, Tunisia on 30 June 2021 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]
Tunisian surgeons at a COVID-19 ward in Kairouan, Tunisia on 30 June 2021 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Tunisian President Kais Saied on Friday decided that the armed forces, in coordination with civilian medical staff, would survey the entire country to vaccinate citizens against COVID-19 in light of the virus's rapid spread.

This came according to a statement issued on Friday by the Tunisian presidency, of which Anadolu Agency received a copy.

The statement said that Saied: "Instructed that the armed forces, in coordination with the civilian medical and paramedical staff, to survey the entire territory of the republic to vaccinate citizens, as well as focus field hospitals in the governorates according to the development of indicators of the epidemiological situation."

According to the Health Ministry, as of Thursday, 2,082,765 vaccinations had been carried out, 614,710 people had received the second dose of vaccination.

In a separate statement, the Tunisian presidency indicated that Saied's: "High sense of the historical responsibility he bears, especially in this delicate epidemiological circumstance that our country is going through, made intensive efforts to provide all the necessary requirements to control the difficult epidemiological situation."

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The statement added: "A new batch of vaccines, medical supplies and equipment will arrive in Tunisia soon, in addition to the initiative of several brotherly and friendly countries to provide various forms of support to stand by the Tunisian people."

Saied called on all Tunisian citizens to: "Fully abide by the measures announced by the specialised scientific committees to contain and eliminate the pandemic."

On Friday, Tunisia recorded 189 deaths from COVID-19, the highest toll since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country in March 2020.

The total number of infected cases, according to the Health Ministry, reached 481,735, including 16,050 fatalities and 378,332 recoveries.

The ministry indicated on Friday that Tunisia: "Is witnessing an unprecedented wave of the pandemic characterised by a widespread of mutated alpha and delta variants in most of the governorates of the republic, in addition to high rates of infections and hospitalised cases, as well as an unfortunate rise in the number of deaths."

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