September 29 – October 08, 2020 | Press Review Tunisia

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Photo: John S. on Flickr

October 08, 2020: Tunisia is heading for an explosion of contaminations and deaths

Let’s make it clear: in Tunisia we have one of the highest rates of spread of coronavirus in the world. With a number of deaths per day that climbs dangerously and that does not seem to slow down in view of the measures taken so far. By Pr Faouzi Addad The only measures that have borne fruit in the Tunisian context, with the health means and the level of support of Tunisian citizens, have been total containment and mandatory isolation of positive cases in hotels. Apart from these 2 measures, neither the curfew of a few hours (in October, from 23h, 90% of citizens are in bed) nor the total freedom of movement of positive patients who for some have no choice to eat or go shopping for food will not solve our problem.

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October 08, 2020: Re-introduction of curfew in Greater Tunis

Since the reopening of Tunisian borders at the end of June, the number of cases of contamination has been rising. The country deplores 364 deaths due to COVID-19. The Tunisian authorities have decided to reinstate from Thursday, October 8 a curfew in Greater Tunis for fifteen days, in an attempt to limit the outbreak of contamination from the COVID-19 epidemic, the governor of Tunis told AFP. Greater Tunis is a major geographical center that includes four governorates: Tunis, Ben Arous, Ariana and Manouba, with more than 1.3 million inhabitants, almost 10% of the Tunisian population, according to the latest official statistics of 2014.

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October 07, 2020: Ben Alaya announces the generalization of contamination in Tunisia

The spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health announced this Wednesday, October 7, 2020, the widespread contamination on the Tunisian territory. At a press briefing held this Wednesday, October 7, 2020, she said in this sense that all governorates are now affected by the acceleration of contamination by the coronavirus with exponential speed. During the last 14 days, an average of 72.9 cases of contamination has been recorded per 100 thousand inhabitants. “Some delegations have even recorded 100 contaminations per 100 thousand inhabitants, which is alarming,” she added. More than 1,200 cases of contamination are recorded daily, she added, affirming that there is still time to apply barrier measures to prevent the deterioration of the epidemiological situation.

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October 07, 2020: The federation of basic education reiterates its willingness to suspend classes

The federation of basic education reiterated Tuesday its willingness to announce the suspension of courses at the national level, if the ministerial party does not respect its commitments to ensure the conditions of health security in the various educational institutions. The federation called in a statement issued Tuesday for teachers to boycott classes if contamination is recorded among students or students without masks in the classroom. The federation also called on teachers not to enter the school in case of lack of disinfection and thermometer insisting on the right of its members to good health and safety at work. The general situation calls for urgent measures to protect the health of citizens, demanding recognition that COVID-19 contamination is an occupational disease that the state must pay for treatment and to dispense teachers with chronic illnesses.

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October 05, 2020: Fight against the rise of COVID-19 in Tunisia: The government prohibits all gatherings

Daily average of 1200 new cases of COVID-19 in Tunisia. Prohibition of manifestations of all kinds to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Work in groups and half time, as of today, in the public administration, imitating the teaching which is back since September 15. The Tunisian head of government, Hichem Mechichi, decided the day before yesterday to extend the logic of half-time and group work to the public administration to contain the spread of the pandemic. Mechichi was inspired by the success of the experiment in teaching, which has resumed since September 15. There have only been nearly 400 cases of COVID-19 in this sector, involving more than 2.5 million people. 22% of the population recorded 2% of the cases, especially among teachers, administration and workers. After six months of struggle against COVID-19, including three months of cohabitation with the virus, following the opening of borders at the end of June 2020, the rate of contamination has climbed in Tunisia, reaching last week the 1200 cases per day. The total number of cases remains relatively low, with 22 230 cases and 321 deaths. The rate of diagnosed cases remains well below 1% of the population (0.2%). Another factor meaning that the situation is not critical is that there are only 440 cases of COVID-19 hospitalized, the day before yesterday at 8 pm; of which 116 are in intensive care and 45 in intensive care.

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October 04, 2020: Poor and inadequate communication

Tunisia is ranked, today, according to the WHO, second worldwide in terms of the number of coronavirus contaminations in relation to the country’s population. It is a fact that cannot be denied: after the opening of borders on June 27th, the number of infected people and deaths are no longer to be kept in mind, as they change at the rate of seconds. Contrary to the first wave, the management of the crisis by the government, coordination and supervision are lacking. The situation is no longer under control or under control in the face of this unpredictable invasion of the pandemic. What is strange today is that the state, since the beginning of the second wave, had no will to anticipate and take drastic measures. Whereas the management and control that Tunisia had shown had previously been given as an example. However, crisis management or rather communication in times of crisis is painfully lacking today in our country.

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October 02, 2020: A plan B for the continuity of distance learning courses (Ben Ouda)

The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has drawn up a provisional plan, a sort of “Plan B”, which will ensure the continuity of the courses, through distance learning, and which will be activated if necessary. This was revealed, Friday, October 2, 2020, Olfa Ben Ouda, the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, who was speaking at a dialogue session at the Assembly of People’s Representatives with five members of the government, devoted to the health, social and educational situation in the country. On this occasion, Ben Ouda explained that this procedure will allow the continuity of courses in all circumstances and avoid their interruption in case of aggravation of the COVID-19 pandemic in Tunisia. She pointed out that many scientific studies warn against the negative effects of school interruption, a disruptive element in the learning process and the level of education of students. She indicates that her department is also moving towards the adoption of an integrated system that alternates between distance learning and face-to-face learning. The Department of Higher Education, she adds, is developing a training program for trainers in the use of modern technologies, calling on all teachers to digitize their courses to avoid any interruption and provide distance learning, if necessary.

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October 01, 2020: the crisis linked to COVID-19 is beneficial to the country’s foreign exchange reserves (SUMMARY)

Tunisia’s foreign exchange reserves have increased to reach 141 days of imports, confirmed Thursday the governor of the Tunisian Central Bank (BCT), Marouane El Abassi, at a press conference in Tunis. These foreign exchange reserves are estimated at 21.2 billion dinars, or about 7.6 billion dollars. According to Mr. Abassi, this increase, described as a record, was due to several factors, including the monetary policy conducted by the BCT, the rise in confidence in the Tunisian dinar as well as global factors, including the drop in the price of a barrel of oil and the postponement of the pilgrimage season, which has helped to ensure the stability of banks’ foreign exchange reserves. “The maintenance of this respectable level of foreign exchange reserves, despite a shortfall of 2.5 billion dinars in tourism revenues, is also explained by a sharp decline in imports, the reduction of the energy bill and a decline in demand for foreign exchange in the context of travel,” commented the head of the BCT. Mr. Abassi also mentioned the contribution in this performance of the opening of exchange offices, generating the collection of about one billion dinars ($362 million), much of which comes from the informal sector. The Governor of the BCT added that the commissioning of four electronic payment institutions will make a major contribution to reducing the circulation of Tunisian currency and encouraging the use of modern technologies in commercial transactions.

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September 29, 2020: Propagation of COVID-19: Tunisia 2nd in the world!

Dr. Habiba Ezzahi Ben Romdhane, university professor in preventive medicine and former Minister of Health, assured during his speech yesterday on Mosaic FM, that the rising balance sheets concerning the spread of coronavirus in Tunisia were expected. She questioned the lack of strict measures to limit the spread of the virus and warned that if nothing is done, the balance sheet will be even heavier because the second wave will be massive. She explained that according to studies, Tunisia is ranked second in the world in terms of the rate of development of the virus and the number of people infected on a daily basis.

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September 29, 2020: Change in working hours due to COVID-19?

The Minister to the Head of Government in charge of the Civil Service, Hasna Ben Slimene, spoke on the national radio on Tuesday, September 29, 2020, about the possibility of reviewing working hours, and this because of the situation of the coronavirus in Tunisia. In this regard, some employees of the civil service could work remotely to limit the spread of the epidemic. This change in working hours will take place as soon as the results of a government-sponsored study are published.

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