Tunisia / Virus: “Very serious” health condition in Beja

A local official said on Tuesday that the health situation in the Tunisian regime of Beja is “very critical” due to an increase in the number of COVID cases in this confined area as of June 27.

On Sunday, the government announced that it had set a new normal containment in four regions – Beja North-West), Siliana, Zaghouan (North) and Kairouan (Centre) – where the contamination rate exceeds 0.4%.

Governors will be confined until June 27, as hospitals struggle to treat the most severe cases in some areas of the country.

“In Beja, we recorded 600 and even 700 contaminations per 100,000 residents. This puts us in a very serious position because our health system is so fragile,” said Dr. Elise Ammar, regional director of health told AFP to the governor.

“We have increased the capacity of oxygen beds to 80 beds. Almost the entire hospital (in the governor) has been converted into COVID service,” he said.

Health Minister Fauji Mahdi said a field hospital would be set up in the area to help other clinics and health facilities.

According to an AFP correspondent, following the confinement, security forces tightened controls at the main entrance to Beja, where most shops, administrations, businesses and markets have closed their doors.

“We are out of breath because there are so many (of the nursing staff) who are on burnout (…) a lot of doctors can’t take it anymore (…)”, Mr Ammar said.

According to officials, regional screening drives and isolation centers have been set up for positive cases, facing the downfall in four confined areas.

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Tunisia, which has lifted most restrictions except for night-time curfews as the tourist season approaches, currently records several dozen deaths and more than 2,000 new confirmed cases per day for its 12 million D’Is residents.

According to the Health Ministry, the country has recorded over 385,000 cases, including around 14,000 deaths, since March 2020.

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