Tunis goes under partial lockdown over record virus cases

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Tunisia placed the capital Tunis and the northern town of Bizerte under a partial lockdown from Thursday in a bid to rein in record daily coronavirus cases and deaths.

Parties, sporting and cultural events and public prayers are banned until July 14 under the measures which cover Tunis and its surroundings, adding to similar measures in place for the coastal cities of Sousse and Monastir.

The measures announced late Wednesday also include an overnight curfew from 8:00 pm (1900 GMT) until 5:00 am (0400 GMT) and a ban on cafes and restaurants serving food except outdoors or by delivery.

Many Tunisian hospitals are at full capacity, and medics say they are unable to cope.

Four inland regions of the North African country have also been under total since June 20 as cases have spiralled, as well as the northern town of Bizerte.

Adding to the sense of crisis, the army has been deployed in some areas to enforce lockdown measures.

The health ministry announced a record 5,921 cases and 116 deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday, the latest figures available in the country of 12 million.

Tunisia has struggled with a lack of vaccines and has so far administered initial jabs to around 15 percent of its population, with just over half a million receiving the full two doses.


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