Tunisia imposes total COVID-19 lockdown

Cairo: Tunisia will impose this week a temporary total lockdown in an effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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The North African country has recently experienced a sharp rise in virus infection rates.

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The lockdown will start on Thursday and run for four days, Health Minister Faouzi Mehdi said.

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Classes at all education levels will be suspended from Thursday until January 24, the official said, according to the official Tunisian newsagency.

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As part of the anti-coronavirus measures, a nationwide nighttime curfew will be extended to run from 4pm to 7am during the four-day lockdown.

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Services at coffeehouses and restaurants will be limited to takeaways over the period from January 18 to January 24.

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Tunisia, a country of about 11 million population, has so far reported a tally of 164,936 virus cases and 5,343 related fatalities.

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Russia has promised to provide Tunisia with a first batch of the anti-COVID-19 Sputnik V in late January, the minister said.

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“The vaccine will be for free and optional for everyone,” he added.

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Priority groups include people aged over 60, health workers, security forces and sufferers of chronic diseases.

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