August 31 – Septembre 05, 2020 | Press Review Tunisia

| ,

Photo: John S. Flickr

September 05, 2020: Douagi: “Preventing children from going to school is even more dangerous than COVID-19 infection”

The president of the Tunisian Association of Pediatrics, Mohamed Douagi told Radio Diwan FM on Saturday 5 September that most studies and research that have been conducted in Tunisia or abroad on the new coronavirus have shown that the infection in children is very low. “The contamination from children to adults is almost non-existent, which forces parents to respect the date of return to school scheduled by the Ministry of Education, that is to say September 15, 2020,” he insisted.

Douagi added that there are very few cases recorded among children in all countries of the world, confirming that this age group is somewhat protected from the risk of infection, explaining that most cases did not present any symptoms or serious health problems. He considered that the negative repercussions of isolating children at home are a real danger to their health, and are even more serious than coronavirus infection, adding that the damage can affect the psychological and social aspects of children. Finally, he called for all preventive measures to be taken to avoid the risk of infection by the virus in schools.

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

September 04, 2020: Of the 24 governorates that Tunisia has, 21 are classified in the “red zone”.

The National Observatory of New and Emerging Diseases (NONMNE) announced today, Friday, September 4, 2020, that 21 governorates of the country, which has 24, are now classified in the “red zone”, with regard to the spread of coronavirus.

The epidemiological situation is marked by an increase in contamination affecting almost all regions, with an average of 10 active cases per 100,000 inhabitants, except Beja, Zaghouan and Tozeur, said OMNE, which had announced 24 hours ago that 19 governorates were in the red zone, to which are added, today, Gafsa and Manouba.
The red zone includes the most affected governorates: Gabes (779 active cases), Ben Arous (325), Sousse (245), Tunis (240), Le Kef (208), Ariana (144 cases), Kairouan (122), Monastir (81) and Sfax (81).
Classified in the red zone, the following governorates are less impacted than the previous ones: Médenine (76 active cases), Jendouba (43), Nabeul (49), Sidi Bouzid (37), Siliana (33), Mahdia (32), Tataouine (30), Kébili (24), Kasserine (22), and Bizerte (17).
As for the 3 governorates spared by the “red zone” classification, they are Béja (5 active cases), Zaghouan (3) and Tozeur (2).

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

September 04, 2020: Sit-in in front of the Spanish Embassy in Tunisia to demand the release of irregular migrants detained in Melilla.

Families of irregular migrants detained at the Melilla reception center in Spain observed a sit-in in front of the headquarters of the Spanish Embassy in Tunisia on Friday morning to denounce the poor housing conditions of their children among other migrants with COVID-19.

The demonstrators called on the President of the Republic, Kais Saïed, to intervene with the Spanish authorities to demand the release of their children.

In a statement to the TAP agency, Romdhane ben Amor, spokesperson for the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES), said that more than 1,500 migrants are currently detained at the Melilla center, including 800 people of Tunisian nationality.

“Migrants are housed in disastrous conditions and suffer from discrimination and abuse,” he said, calling on the Spanish authorities to respect international conventions on migration.

According to him, the Spanish authorities want to force Tunisia to sign a convention on the forced repatriation of migrants like the convention signed with the Italian authorities which annually carries out the forced repatriation of thousands of irregular Tunisian migrants.

It should be noted that the sit-in took place in the midst of a reinforced security arrangement around the embassy.

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

September 04, 2020: Fight against the coronavirus, once upon a time there was solidarity

In spite of a very worrying and difficult health situation for everyone, we notice, today, a passivity, an indolence, an inaction… whether they are on the part of citizens, young people or civil society… Whose fault is it?

During the first wave of the coronavirus, Tunisia managed to control the epidemiological situation thanks to the efforts made by the authorities concerned, who took the necessary measures in time with quick and clear decisions. An initiative to be commended in the fight against this invisible enemy during this period.

However, the health situation would be very complicated and other scenarios would be just as possible if civil society, volunteers and young people had not contributed, each at their own level, to the prevention of the spread of this virus. They have played a crucial role in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A co-deciding civil society

Indeed, for weeks and in all phases of the pandemic, actions and initiatives were multiplied by civil society, volunteers and young people who served as intermediaries between villagers, health authorities and municipalities, to relay medical information and doctors’ instructions, ensure the application of prevention rules, organize awareness campaigns, continue campaigns to control public and private spaces… All these actions and others, despite a recurrent and cruel lack of financial means, were carried out successfully.

During this same period, another action to fight against the coronavirus came to express an impulse of solidarity that is not foreign to Tunisians.

A large group, reflecting the good example of solidarity within the Tunisian society, has been created since March 2020 on the social network Facebook in order to gather volunteers against this pandemic.

“Volunteers against Coronavirus” is a public group of volunteers whose number is increasing day by day. It is dedicated to citizen collaboration to fight against the spread of COVID-19, through all possible means.

Supporting the efforts of medical teams

The members of the group have the opportunity to exchange advice, suggest certain recommendations, participate in awareness-raising campaigns, provide the necessary support to the efforts of medical teams working in the field, etc.

It was a real surge of solidarity in which several citizens joined the initiative with great will and enthusiasm. This group is just one example, among many others.

We also remember the initiatives launched by Tunisian start-ups, the PGuard robot that was installed on Habib-Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis to enforce the confinement of Tunisians, the Veasense robot that provides telemedicine, telepresence and continuous monitoring of isolated people, suffering from coronavirus, the manufacture of 3D printed visors to help caregivers … Throughout this historic period, young Tunisians have never ceased to surprise us with innovative and surprising ideas.

Many initiatives have emerged spontaneously to fight against coronavirus and every day we discover the hidden potential of these young people with solutions that come from everywhere and often from where we don’t expect them. Thus, volunteering and citizenship were the watchwords during this historical period, during which we won the bet.

What has changed ?

Today, the epidemic has resumed with a breathtaking acceleration. Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 10:00 am, the country has 3,963 positive cases of COVID-19 and 80 victims dead. According to statistics published by the World Health Organization (WHO), Tunisia ranks 119th out of a total of 188 countries affected by the coronavirus worldwide.

Despite this very worrying and difficult situation for everyone, there is a passivity, indolence, inaction … whether from citizens, youth or civil society …

Even the regional coronavirus commissions, which were created to limit the spread of the pandemic, are conspicuous by their absence as the country faces a second wave, in a turbulent and uncertain political context marked by the establishment of a new government.

Worse still, a few days before the start of the school year, scheduled for September 15, Tunisia is facing a second wave of the epidemic caused by this new tenant of planet Earth which has exposed the failures of public health, especially in cities heavily affected by the coronavirus as El Hamma, Kairouan, Le Kef …

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

September 03, 2020: List of private laboratories authorized to perform RT-PCR testing

The Ministry of Health has announced the list of private medical testing laboratories that have been granted authorization to perform the RT-PCR test for the diagnosis of coronavirus.

The independent technical committee that reviewed the validity of the private laboratories wishing to perform these tests has decided to grant authorizations to the :

Hamdi Dhaouadi Laboratory, Bizerte
Houda Rayhane Laboratory, El Manar 2
Nejib Barouni Laboratory, Menzah 6
Achref Ben Youssef Laboratory, Houmt Souk Djerba

The Ministry confirmed that the work of this technical committee is continuing to review applications from the rest of the laboratories.

Citizens can make remote appointments to perform the analyses via the online platform at

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

September 02, 2020: Nissaf Ben Alaya unveils COVID-19 prevention measures in schools

The Director General of New and Emerging Diseases, Nissaf Ben Alaya, announced on Wednesday that all necessary measures will be taken to limit the spread of the virus in educational institutions after the start of the school year on September 15. It does not preclude the closure of the educational institution in the event of an episode of infection.

Regarding the measures that will be taken in case of registration of infections in certain departments or schools, Ben Alaya said that all measures will be taken to limit the spread of infection, based on the results of the active investigation of the virus in the educational institution concerned.

She said that there will be a point of contact between the Ministry of Health and each educational institution to deal with each suspected case of Coronavirus, indicating that each suspected case will be treated separately.

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

September 02, 2020: Hichem Mechichi Government Gains Confidence from Parliament

The Assembly of People’s Representatives granted, on Wednesday, September 2, 2020, its confidence in the government of Hichem Mechichi with 134 votes for, 67 against and zero abstentions.

The government of Hichem Mechichi replaces the government of Elyes Fakhfakh elected in February. The head of the outgoing government had resigned following a conflict of interest scandal. Hichem Mechichi, Interior Minister in the Fakhfakh government, was appointed by the head of state Kaïs Saïed to form the new government, but the process led by Mr. Mechichi, who decided to exclude the parties, earned him much criticism from those concerned.

Hichem Mechichi and his government team will be sworn in before the head of state.

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

September 01, 2020: 138 Coronavirus Infections at a Plant in Ben Arous

A total of 138 Coronavirus infections have been recorded at Faurecia’s Ben Arous plant, while the remaining workers continue to be subjected to COVID-19 tests.

A company manager has assured that the results of the tests will be immediate, indicating that work is continuing at the facility, while complying with the necessary health protocol.

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

August 31, 2020: A Free Psychological Support Platform for Employees

The major stress represented by the fear of the coronavirus and its lightning spread, the economic situation not devoid of risks and the upheaval that it causes in our daily lives, all this can weaken our psychological health. As this suffering dates back to before the outbreak of the health crisis, with a socio-economic situation already weakened by the nine years after the revolution, finding psychological support is essential.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone has been going through an exceptional situation and is at a crossroads between the need to protect oneself against this virus and the need to adapt to the circumstances. For most of us, this situation is difficult to live with and makes us suffer, especially since the country is still facing the coronavirus epidemic and is suffering from the economic and social fallout associated with this health crisis. To this end, and in order to provide psychological support to employees, psychologist Ghaith Souissi announces the launch of the start-up “Better Mood”, a platform that offers services and comprehensive, professional and personalized support, enabling company employees to find psychological support free of charge.

Avoiding emotional destabilization of employees

In a statement granted to the daily La Presse, Ghaith Souissi says that after the launch, last February, of the psychological telephone consultation platform, “Ahkili”, many companies are calling on psychological help services. “Ahkili” is a service for the psychological support of citizens that has brought together a team of young psychologists. Today, after the success of this first experience, we are about to launch our second Better Mood service, which will be aimed at company employees. Like online medical appointment scheduling sites, this service allows you to have someone on the phone right away and offers free online consultations for employees to find a free psychological support solution,” he explains, adding that managing anxiety in such a situation of extreme distress is essential to avoid emotional destabilization of employees.

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