Tunisia health minister fired over handling of COVID-19

Tunisia’s Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi sacked Health Minister Faouzi Mehdi on Tuesday, Mechichi’s workplace mentioned, amid spiraling coronavirus instances within the North African nation.

The ministry mentioned earlier this month that Tunisia’s well being system had “collapsed” beneath the load of the pandemic, which has induced greater than 17,000 deaths in a inhabitants of round 12 million.

Mechichi’s workplace introduced Mehdi’s sacking in a short assertion, with out giving a purpose for the transfer.

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It mentioned Social Affairs Minister Mohamed Trabelsi would head the ministry in a caretaker capability.

Mehdi had initiated a short lived opening of vaccination stations to all Tunisians over 18 for Tuesday and Wednesday, resulting in stampedes.

The ministry lastly restricted entry to vaccination to these aged over 40 on Wednesday to keep away from a brand new rush.

Mehdi’s sacking is one other occasion of instability in a authorities that has seen a number of ministers resign over tensions with parliament and the presidency.

On Sunday, Tunisia reported 117 new coronavirus deaths and a pair of,520 new instances, bringing whole recorded instances to greater than half 1,000,000.

Health ministry spokeswoman Nissaf Ben Alya mentioned on July 8 the well being scenario was “catastrophic”, telling a neighborhood radio station that “unfortunately, the health system has collapsed.”

Some our bodies of Covid victims have been left mendacity in rooms subsequent to different sufferers for as much as 24 hours, as a result of there weren’t sufficient employees to organise their switch to overstretched mortuaries.

The well being ministry’s Facebook web page mentioned particular area hospitals arrange in current months are now not sufficient.

Following Ben Alya’s announcement, the federal government of war-torn neighboring Libya mentioned it had determined to shut their shared border and droop air hyperlinks with Tunisia for per week.

Countries from Gulf states to former colonial energy France and even cash-strapped Mauritania have despatched medical help.

Since June 20, authorities have imposed a complete lockdown on six areas and a partial lockdown within the capital.

Tunisians have lived by means of a decade of political instability and financial disaster since their 2011 revolution which overthrew dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, leaving very important public providers crumbling.

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