September 19, 2021

Faced with an outbreak of Covid-19, Tunisia calls on the diaspora in France

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Surpassed by a record number of Covid-19 contaminations, Tunisia launched, Sunday July 11, an appeal to the Tunisian diaspora installed in France to contribute with donations to support the health system of its country, which s ‘collapsed under the effect of Covid-19.

‘The Tunisian Embassy in France urges Tunisians residing in France (…) to actively contribute to the support of health establishments in Tunisia through donations in kind – medical and paramedical equipment and material – or in monetary form’, she says on her Facebook page, adding a list of missing equipment.

On Thursday, the spokesperson for the Tunisian Ministry of Health, Nissaf Ben Alya, spoke of the ‘collapse’ of the health system, deeming the health situation ‘catastrophic’ following a record number of Covid-19 contaminations in recent weeks.

Lack of beds and oxygen in the hospital

According to Nissaf Ben Alya, it is now difficult to find an available bed or to have the necessary amount of oxygen in the country’s hospitals. ‘If we do not unite our efforts, the (health) disaster will worsen,’ she warned.

‘The Embassy will work to pilot the operation of collecting donations in France, its facilitation and ensure its routing, as soon as possible to Tunisia, with the option of chartering a special plane for this purpose’, specifies the press release, stressing that ‘Tunisian civil society in France (…) has always been present alongside Tunisians’.

>> Tunisia: hospitals overwhelmed by Covid-19

Hospitals across the country have experienced a large influx of patients for two weeks. On social networks, images are circulating showing patients on the floor in overwhelmed establishments. The field hospitals set up in recent months are no longer enough: 92% of resuscitation beds in the public are occupied and those in the capital are full, according to the Tunisian Ministry of Health.

Six confined governorates

Faced with the situation, neighboring Libya decided on Thursday to close its borders and suspend flights with Tunisia for a week, said a spokesperson for the Libyan government.

To limit the spread of the virus, the Tunisian authorities have ordered the containment of the population in six governorates where the rate of spread of the virus is particularly high, including Tunis and its suburbs.

On Thursday, the government extended the confinement and nighttime curfew in these six governorates until July 31 and announced the ban on travel between the regions, according to a government statement.