June 23, 2020 | Press Review

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Photo: John S. on Flickr

June 23, 2020: Abdellatif Mekki worried about the slackening of citizens towards the prevention of COVID-19

The Minister of Health, Abdellatif Mekki, expressed on Tuesday his fears regarding the laxity observed among citizens in the prevention against coronavirus. On the sidelines of his participation in an event to launch projects on “the COVID-19 research and renewal program”, Mekki stressed the need to respect preventive measures and adhere to measures against Corona, especially since the risk still exists. The Minister of Health also indicated that all means will be used to monitor Tunisians returning from abroad during their period of self-confinement. Mekki stressed that among the means that will be adopted is the activation of the law to punish all offenders.

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The Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Slim Choura, said that Tunisia should not continue to play the role of spectator in the face of scientific research undertaken by countries on the Corona virus and expressed his wish that the drug and vaccine be Tunisian. The minister revealed on Mosaique Fm that a project involving around 600 Tunisian experts from several structures working on several projects to develop drugs and vaccines, as well as medical devices, has been allocated an estimated budget of around 4 million dinars, an amount which can be revised upwards. Slim Choura acknowledged the weakness of the scientific research budget, which does not exceed 0.67% of GDP, stressing that the current government includes it in national sovereignty and security. He announced that there is a project to contribute some 20 sectors to the financing of scientific research, in addition to the signing of an agreement with the Tunisian Union of Industry, Commerce and Handicrafts to support innovation and scientific research.

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June 23, 2020: launch of federated research projects

Selection of 14 federated research projects out of 50 in the COVID-19 R&I program. This is the announcement of Samia Charfi Gdoura, DG of Scientific Research at the Ministry of Higher Education. At a ceremony organized for the launch of these projects, the official said that a budget of 4 MDT has been devoted to the COVID-19 R&I programme. This is for the years 2020 and 2021. She pointed out that the selected projects meet the standards. As such, they will be monitored and evaluated every three months.
In addition, she recalled that a call for proposals for the financing and implementation of these projects was launched in March and May 2020. This is part of the COVID-19 R&I programme. The latter is implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Health. The objective is to encourage researchers to find solutions to the pandemic at several levels. Namely diagnosis, prevention and treatment; in addition to the genetic sequencing of the virus.

Promoting research and innovation in the industrial sector
For his part, the Minister of Higher Education, Slim Choura, said the programme involves about 600 specialists. Such as doctors, researchers, university teachers and doctoral students. With the participation of universities, research centres and economic partners. In addition, the minister pointed out that an agreement will be signed with UTICA. To promote research and innovation in the industrial sector. For his part, the Minister of Health, Abdellatif El Mekki, has evoked his commitment to ensure the support and financing of these projects. While expressing the wish to see Tunisians rewarded at the international level. And this, for their research work, especially since Tunisia has great human skills.

For more information (in French), please consult the following link.