Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 24 November 2020

Tunisia imposes nationwide curfew as cases climb

Iran has also seen a rapid rise in coronavirus cases and recorded its worst day of new deaths since the start of the pandemic

Tunisian wear masks as a precaution against Covid-19 as they go out in Tunis, Tunisia on 09 October 2020. A countrywide curfew is going into effect on Tuesday to curb the spread of the virus. EPA
Tunisian wear masks as a precaution against Covid-19 as they go out in Tunis, Tunisia on 09 October 2020. A countrywide curfew is going into effect on Tuesday to curb the spread of the virus. EPA

Tunisia’s Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi on Monday ordered a countrywide curfew starting from Tuesday to curb a surge in coronavirus cases.

The country, which was the first North African national to reopen its borders on June 27 after managing to contain the virus earlier this year, has seen a sharp uptick in confirmed cases.

In recent weeks, authorities have been ramping up containment measures in the worst-affected areas, with curfews imposed on several governorates, including Monastir, Sousse, Sidi Bouzid, and Sabalat Ouled Asker.

The health ministry reported 5,752 new cases on Saturday, raising the total caseload to 40,542, while 114 deaths were registered, taking toll to 626.

Iran has also seen a rapid rise in cases and recorded its worst day of new deaths since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with 337 confirmed dead on Monday.

Fatalities have soared in recent weeks, as authorities struggle to contain the virus’s spread months into the pandemic.

The Islamic Republic has seen the worst outbreak in the Middle East with a death toll that topped 30,000 last week.

Saudi Arabia reported 381 new cases on Tuesday and 16 deaths as well as 357 recoveries. The Kingdom, which reopened the Grand Mosque in Makkah on Sunday, has recorded 342,000 cases and 328,000 recoveries in total.

Oman's Ministry of Health announced 641 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, bringing the country's total caseload to 110,594.

A further 776 recoveries and 13 deaths bring the country's tally to 96,400 recoveries with 1,114 deaths.

Outside the Middle East, Russia's daily tally of coronavirus cases surged to a new record high of 15,982 on Monday, including 5,376 in the capital Moscow, pushing the national case total to 1,415,316 since the pandemic began.

And in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is ready to offer Greater Manchester as much as £100 million ($129.4m) to offset the economic effects of a stricter lockdown amid concerns that hospitals will run out of beds as the caseload climbs rapidly.

Updated: October 19, 2020 06:17 PM