Tunisia Security Update
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UPDATE: Tunisia targeted lockdown measures are proving effective as it marked 3 consective days without any new confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Key INSIGHT: Director General of the National Observatory of New and Emerging Diseases Nissaf Ben Alaya said:
“It would take at least 40 days without any new infection to be able to say that Tunisia has gone beyond this phase, due to the fact that the zero case does not mean that the virus no longer exists.”
Security INSIGHT: Tunisia has started to ease lockdown measures, pointing to the relative success of the restrictions it imposed early on in the pandemic. although schools will largely remain closed until September. Hairdressers officially opened on Monday, while cafes and mosques are due to reopen on 24 May.
Tunisia Receives Drones from China to aid COVID-19 fight
Tunisia’s nationwide lockdown began March 22, when it had just 75 confirmed cases. The UK, by contrast, did not impose a national lockdown until it had over 6,000 cases, while Italy did not go ahead with the measure until it recorded more than 9,000. Tunisia also took the early step of quarantining patients with mild symptoms in designated facilities such as hotels rather than allowing them to isolate at home as in Italy — a policy that doctors now say was a fatal flaw.
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Travel: At the time of this writing, both the U.S. and UK embassies advises against all but essential international travel.
Authorities strictly enforced lockdown measures in high-risk areas, patrolling the streets and even arresting those in violation of quarantine and social distancing regulations.
Civil society groups and private businesses also played an important role in helping fight the virus. Some 150 Tunisian employees of a factory helped make face masks more accessible by self-isolating at their facility in order to produce 50,000 per day. Meanwhile, numerous start-ups and civil society groups mobilized to develop and provide innovative medical protective gear to hospitals and deliver aid packages to those in need.
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