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Tunisia Bans Internal Travel To Contain Pandemic

TUNIS, TUNISIA – OCTOBER 09: A street near the Avenue Habib Bourguiba remains empty after a lockdown imposed as a measure against the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Tunis, Tunisia on October 09, 2020. 15 day lock-down imposed in Tunis, Aryanah, Ben Arous and Manouba. Lockdown comes to effect between 7 pm – 5 am on Saturday and Sunday, 9 pm and 5 am on weekdays. (Photo by Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Tunisia on Thursday banned travel between the country’s regions suspended schools and public gatherings, and extended a curfew, as it tried to contain a rapid surge of COVID-19 cases with hospitals nearly full.

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Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi has said Tunisia cannot afford a second lockdown with the government already fighting the central bank over a projected deficit double what it had originally foreseen.

However, after successfully containing the coronavirus in the spring and summer, Tunisia is now experiencing a very rapid spread of the disease with more than 55,000 cases and intensive care units full in some regions. As well as banning internal travel in most cases, the new rules include a suspension of schools until Nov. 8, a two-week suspension of universities, and a ban on protests and public gatherings of more than four people.

A night curfew already in place in several regions has been extended across the country and brought forward to start at 8 pm instead of 9 pm on weekdays while remaining at 7 pm on weekends.

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Written by PH

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