October 21 – November 01, 2020 | Tunisia Press Review

| ,

Photo: John S. on Flickr

November 01, 2020: Anti-COVID-19 vaccine: Tunisia will receive its first doses in the month of March.

The world is in a race against time and death between, on the one hand, the spread of SarscoV2 and, on the other, the development of a vaccine. The first vaccines will be ready and in use before the end of the year, that’s for sure. They will be 50 to 60 percent effective, no more. But there won’t be enough for everyone. Tunisia has provided 250,000 doses of vaccine. However, each vaccination will require two doses spaced 21 days apart, except in the case of the Johnson & Johnson candidate vaccine, which will be administered as a single dose, if it is successful. This means that the 250,000 doses correspond to 125,000 vaccinations. But does this mean that Tunisia will need 24 million doses? No, that’s not the right calculation, here’s why. The WHO recommends vaccinating as a priority health personnel, security forces and then vulnerable categories; the elderly and people suffering from chronic diseases. And to leave the under-18s for 2022. For the general population over 18 years of age, a vaccination coverage of 60-70% will be needed to ensure sufficient herd immunity, assuming that at least 5% of the population has already caught Covid. Do the math.

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

October 31, 2020: The Ministry of Health launches its COVID-19 digital platform

The Ministry of Health has decided to launch its SARS-COV2 digital platform in order to collect and process all information from all stakeholders in the field of coronavirus screening, such as laboratories, hospitals, private clinics and others. This COVID-19 digital platform will be operational from November 9, 2010, after the completion of training sessions for its users, announced the Ministry of Health on its official page. It has been developed in coordination with the Ministry of Health’s computer center, the Ministry of Technology and Communication, the National Observatory of New and Emerging Diseases and the startup Wizzlabs.

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

October 30, 2020: Tunisia-Budget Crisis: When a government promises what it does not have!

We will never stop saying it, in exceptional situations, exceptional measures. But not only. In the case of Tunisia, we should add exceptional men. “Statesmen and stateswomen are characterized by several traits: not getting rich from their situation, assimilating facts quickly, adapting to circumstances, rising above events and digging their own graves,” said Jean Sérisé. He explains: “The statesman takes decisions without being forced to do so, decisions that he knows will lead him to his own downfall. It is impossible for them to do anything other than what they believe they should do”. Exceptional men who do not give in to the diktat of the mob, the social partners, the media, the street and even less political pressure. This is what a large part of Tunisians expected from Hichem Mechichi, newly appointed head of government (CDG), when he announced a “government of technocrats” to be free to decide for the good of the country.

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

October 29, 2020: School Closures and Travel Restrictions

Tunisia has decided, in the night of Wednesday to Thursday, a further tightening of health measures to try to stem the spread of COVID-19. The government also decided to drastically limit travel between regions. Schools and universities will also keep their doors closed temporarily. The curfew was also advanced by one hour on weekdays. Calculated timing or – more likely – internal malfunction? The communiqué of the Presidency of the Government concerning COVID-19 in Tunisia fell in the middle of the night. It was therefore when many Tunisians woke up on the feast day of the Mouled that they learned of the new restrictions. For some, who had chosen to return to visit their families, there is already the problem of being able to return home at the end of this long weekend. In his communiqué (in Arabic), the head of government explains that he decided on his measures in order to “maintain the cohesion of the health system”. According to several observers, the health system risks implosion because of its structural obsolescence.

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

October 28, 2020: A “very dangerous” peak has been reached, says Nissaf Ben Alaya

Commenting on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, the new balance sheet of coronavirus contaminations in Tunisia, the spokeswoman of the Ministry of Health and director of the National Observatory of New and Emerging Diseases, Nissaf Ben Alaya, said that most infected people are aged between 35 and 55 years while the average age of the deceased is 65 years. She reviewed the 2125 new coronavirus infections recorded on 25 and 26 October and the deaths of 52 people, bringing the total number of deaths to 1153 since the virus appeared last February, and described the health situation as “very dangerous”. She also provided an update on the deaths of four children, including a 19-year-old girl, noting that three of them, aged 16, 17 and 10 respectively, were suffering from chronic diseases, while for the 19-year-old girl it has not yet been proven that she had a chronic disease.

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

October 25, 2020: Towards the closure of schools?

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) said that hospital systems in some countries heavily affected by the pandemic of the new coronavirus COVID-19 are facing a possible collapse in the coming months considering that the situation is likely to become quite critical. The official added that the epidemiological situation in these countries will be even worse in the next few months. According to Radio Monte Carlo quoting the WHO official, the number of deaths related to COVID-19 has increased dramatically in several countries around the world. This situation would cause the imminent exhaustion of the resources available to these countries and therefore the collapse of their hospital systems. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in this context, called on all the presidents and heads of government of these countries to take exceptional and urgent preventive measures in order to cope with the worsening epidemiological situation and to limit the number of deaths. It recommends, in this context, the closure of schools and educational institutions. It should be recalled that the Ministry of Education recently announced the registration of no less than 1239 Covid-19 cases in educational institutions since the beginning of the school year and until October 16 of this year. 3311 suspicious cases have also been registered until the same date. The same source reported that these cases have been confirmed in the ranks of students and educational staff in 602 schools throughout the Republic. These include 550 students, 546 teachers, 105 administrative staff and 38 agents.

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

October 22, 2020: Greater Tunis: Curfew maintained until November 6

The curfew will be maintained, in the greater Tunis, until Friday, November 6, 2020.
The Governors of Greater Tunis (Tunis, Ben Arous, La Manouba and Ariana), meeting this Thursday, decided to extend the curfew for fifteen days, starting Friday, October 23. They met this morning at the Cité de la Culture in Tunis, in the presence of security officials and representatives of the disaster control commissions of the governorates of Greater Tunis. The curfew has been in place since Thursday, October 8 in Greater Tunis for a period of 15 days, from 21:00 to 05:00 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and from 19:00 to 05:00 Saturday and Sunday.

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

October 21, 2020: A mobile analysis laboratory installed in Kasserine

The Department of Defense announced on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, the installation of this mobile military laboratory to increase the number of analyses performed in the detection of suspected cases of COVID-19. This laboratory will operate in coordination with public health services in support of national efforts to combat the Coronavirus pandemic. It will be equipped with facilities to enable health care personnel to protect themselves against all biological hazards.

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