TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisian authorities plan to reopen the financial system subsequent week amid public pushback in opposition to virus restrictions, even because the nation’s hospitals are struggling for sufficient oxygen to deal with a persistently excessive variety of COVID-19 sufferers.
Tunisia shut down retailers and eating places and banned all sports activities and cultural occasions final week because the prime minister warned that the well being system risked collapsing. Homes of prayer have been additionally closed – together with for the Eid al-Fitr vacation marking the tip of the holy month of Ramadan that begins Thursday.
However whereas Tunisia is at the moment reporting the very best variety of new COVID-19 deaths per capita in Africa, the general public is annoyed, and a few small enterprise homeowners or market merchants have defied the brand new lockdown.
The federal government introduced Wednesday night time that it’s going to go ahead with reopening plans beginning Might 16, and promised new help to companies and the poor.
A nationwide curfew, which at the moment begins at 7 p.m., can be pushed again to 10 p.m. beginning Sunday, authorities spokesperson Hasna Ben Slimane stated Wednesday. Mosques, eating places and colleges will reopen in the event that they observe social distancing and different virus safety measures. Guests to Tunisia will nonetheless need to endure quarantine upon arrival.
In a televised deal with, Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi promised interest-free loans to small companies and younger entrepreneurs, amongst different help.
Scores of individuals with the virus are nonetheless dying every day, and greater than 11,600 have died general, in a nation with a inhabitants of 11 million. The nation at the moment is reporting the very best each day per capita dying fee in Africa, and one of many highest general dying charges within the area, in keeping with Our World in Knowledge.
Oxygen has been in brief provide at Tunisian hospitals, with a sevenfold improve in demand since earlier than the pandemic, Well being Minister Faouzi Mehdi stated final week. Neighboring Algeria lately delivered a provide of oxygen to neighboring Tunisia, and different shipments from Europe.
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