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At least 70 migrants dead after boat sinks off Tunisia

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At least 70 migrants dead after boat sinks off Tunisia

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“Coastguard units are trying to recover the bodies of the dead off the Tunisian coastal city of Sfax,’’ the agency added, citing local officials.

According to the report, 16 other people have been rescued by fishermen near the site of the accident.

“The migrants were from sub-Saharan Africa,’’ the agency reported without further details.

It was not immediately clear how many people were aboard the capsized boat, which is believed to have set sail for Europe from neighbouring Libya.

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Normal life in Tunisia resuming after lifting of COVID-19 lockdown

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The third phase of the national strategy for partially lifting the coronavirus lockdown in Tunisia was started on Thursday.

In Habib Bourguiba Avenue, the main avenue in the capital Tunis, life is gradually coming back to normal and the street was crowded with masked people.

All shops, restaurants, hotels, public administrations and worship places reopened their doors.

Under the government’s decision, party halls also reopened with 50 percent capacity for the enclosed spaces, and the open spaces can operate at full capacity with hygiene measures.

According to the Tunisian minister in charge of major national projects Lobna Jribi, travel between all Tunisian governorates resumed without authorization.

As for Tunisian nationals abroad, “they will be repatriated from June 4 to June 14 and the priority will be given to students and residents who have lost their jobs,” Jribi said at a press briefing at the government’s headquarters in Tunis on Wednesday.

The national strategy for partial lifting the lockdown has three stages, with the first carried out from May 4 to 24, the second from May 24 to June 4, and the third from June 4 to 14.

The Tunisian government imposed strict confinement measures shortly after the announcement of the first coronavirus case on March 2.

Tunisia reported no new COVID-19 cases on Thursday. The total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country remained at 1,087.

According to a ministry statement, a total of 968 patients have recovered in Tunisia while 49 deaths were reported in 15 provinces.

The North African country has received several batches of medical aid from the Chinese government, foundations and companies since late March to help its fight against the pandemic.

(XINHUA)

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Tunisian president thanks China for anti-epidemic assistance

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Tunisian President Kais Saied on Wednesday thanked China for its vigorous support and assistance for Tunisia’s economic and social development, as well as providing multiple batches of medical supplies to help his country combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Saied made the remarks during a meeting with outgoing Chinese Ambassador Wang Wenbin at the presidential palace.

Tunisia admires China’s achievements and China‘s speed, Saied said, expressing his confidence that cooperation between the two countries is promising, and that bilateral relations will become a model of international relations with the joint efforts of both sides.

Wang congratulated Tunisia on the positive results of its fight against COVID-19.

He said that in recent years, with the care of the leaders of the two countries, bilateral cooperation has continuously achieved new results and there is a window of opportunity for its further development.

China will continue to work actively to deepen the friendly cooperation between the two countries on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefits, the ambassador said.

(XINHUA)

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Tunisian PM says urgent solutions needed for economic recovery

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Tunisian Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh on Wednesday said the economic and financial situation requires urgent solutions to guarantee economic recovery over the next nine months.

The solutions also aim to supply the state budget for the 2020 financial year, the minister said during a meeting with government members and a delegation from the Tunisian Union of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA), according to Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP).

Fakhfakh stressed that the next period “dictates supporting companies to deal with the repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis, preserving jobs, developing the pace of growth, strengthening companies’ capacities and seizing opportunities laid down by economic changes at regional and international levels.”

Fakhfakh emphasised the need to develop a strategic vision concerning an economic recovery plan.

“The plan must be based on practical and achievable solutions to reach a phase of real reforms that have been blocked for years,” TAP quoted Fakhfakh as saying.

For his part, UTICA President Samir Majoul said the union presented its vision of the current economic and social situation and the possible mechanisms to assist companies in order to address the crisis.

Earlier during the day, Tunisian minister in charge of major national projects Lobna Jribi announced the main lines of the third phase of the national strategy for partially lifting the coronavirus lockdown, which will start on Thursday.

She announced that mosques, all worship places, hotels and restaurants will reopen on June 4.

Travel between all Tunisian governorates will resume without authorization, said Jribi.

Tunisian nationals abroad will be repatriated from June 4 to June 14, “and priority will be given to students and residents who have lost their jobs.”

As of Wednesday, Tunisia has reported one imported COVID-19 case, bringing the total number of cases to 1,087.

(XINHUA)

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Tunisia’s COVID-19 cases rise to 1,087 with 49 deaths

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Tunisian Ministry of Health on Wednesday announced one more COVID-19 death, bringing the total deaths in the country to 49.

A 70-year-old woman had passed away on Tuesday in Metlaoui in Gafsa governorate following her infection with COVID-19.

The country recorded one new case, bringing the number of the total COVID-19 cases to 1,087.

A total of 965 recoveries have been recorded.

The Tunisian government has imposed strict confinement measures shortly after the announcement of the first coronavirus case on March 2.

The North African country has received several batches of medical aid from the Chinese government, Chinese foundations and companies since late March to help its fight against the pandemic.

(XINHUA)

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Roundup: Tunisia to further lift COVID-19 restrictions

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Tunisian minister in charge of major national projects Lobna Jribi announced on Wednesday the main lines of the third phase of the national strategy for partially lifting the coronavirus lockdown.

From June 4, work will resume at 100 percent capacity in public administrations and in the other sectors of activity,” Jribi said at a press briefing at the government’s headquarters in Tunis.

She announced that mosques, all worship places, hotels and restaurants will reopen on June 4.

“Party halls will reopen on the same date,” said the minister, adding that the enclosed spaces will operate at 50 percent of their capacity, and the open spaces will operate at full capacity, but in compliance with hygiene measures.

Various sporting activities will be resumed from June 8 without the public “for the moment,” while respecting the preventive measures fixed by the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Travel between all Tunisian governorates will resume without authorization, said Jribi.

Tunisian nationals abroad will be repatriated from June 4 to June 14, “and priority will be given to students and residents who have lost their jobs.”

Since March 15, 2020, Tunisian authorities have managed to ensure the repatriation of 25,000 Tunisians stranded abroad, including 18,000 by air and 7,000 via land borders,” said the Minister of Transport and Logistics, Anouar Maarouf, at a press briefing held in Tunis on Wednesday.

Maarouf said that several flights have been scheduled recently to repatriate Tunisians living in various countries who wish to spend the summer holidays in Tunisia.

“However the programming of new repatriation flights does not mean opening the borders,” explained Maarouf.

He stressed that any Tunisian national repatriated will be called upon to comply with a mandatory confinement of two weeks; “one week at the hotel at his own expense, during which two screening tests will be carried out, with one upon arrival and the other upon exit, and a second week at his home.”

Students, employees whose contract of employment has expired, Tunisian nationals in difficult financial situations, and those who have been stranded in the destination countries will be exempted from the quarantine fees.

On May 26, Mohamed Rabhi, head of the health quarantine commission at the ministry revealed that mandatory quarantine in Tunisian medical centers over the COVID-19 concerns has so far cost the state 15 million dinars (5 million U.S. dollars).

On June 1, Tunisia decided to reopen the land, air and sea borders from June 27, but Tunisian nationals abroad will be repatriated from June 4.

As of Wednesday, Tunisia has reported one imported COVID-19 case, bringing the total number of cases to 1,087.

The Tunisian government has imposed strict confinement measures shortly after the announcement of the first coronavirus case on March 2.

The North African country has received several batches of medical aid from the Chinese government, Chinese foundations and companies since late March to help its fight against the pandemic.

(XINHUA)

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Tunisia to reopen land, air and sea borders from June 27

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Tunisia decided to reopen the land, air and sea borders from June 27, Tunisian government announced on Monday.

Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh also decided that Tunisian nationals abroad will be repatriated from June 4, after his meeting with the national commission to combat coronavirus.

Tunisia has reported 1,084 confirmed coronavirus cases so far.

China has helped Tunisia in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 16, China donated a batch of medical aid to Tunisia’s Ministry of National Defense, including facemasks, test kits and medical protective googles.

Meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Tunisia Wang Wenbin on May 1, Tunisian Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh said his country is grateful to China for its support in Tunisia’s ant-coronavirus fight.

(XINHUA)

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Tunisia announces 1 new COVID-19 case

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Tunisian Ministry of Health announced on Sunday the detection of one new COVID-19 case, bringing the total number of infected people in the country to 1,077.

No new case of death has been identified, and the death toll stood at 48 while a total of 960 patients have recovered.

The Tunisian government has imposed strict confinement measures shortly after the announcement of the first coronavirus case on March 2.

China has helped Tunisia in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

On April 16, China donated a batch of medical aid to Tunisia’s Ministry of National Defense, including facemasks, test kits and medical protective googles.

Meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Tunisia Wang Wenbin on May 1, Tunisian Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh said his country is grateful to China for its support in Tunisia’s ant-coronavirus fight.

(XINHUA)

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Tunisia announces 3 new imported COVID-19 cases

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Tunisian Ministry of Health announced on Friday the detection of three new imported COVID-19 cases in Tunisia, bringing the total number of infected people to 1,071.

The ministry said in its daily epidemiological report that the three new imported cases have been recorded in Manouba, Kairouan and Gafsa provinces.

No new case of death has been identified, and the number of the death cases stood at 48.

The Tunisian government has imposed strict confinement measures shortly after the announcement of the first coronavirus case on March 2.

The North African country has received several batches of medical aid from the Chinese government, foundations and companies since late March for its fight against the pandemic.

(XINHUA)

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Tunisia extends state of emergency for 6 months

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Tunisian President Kais Saied decided Friday to extend the state of emergency, imposed throughout the country since November 2015, for six month.

President Saied decided to extend the state of emergency in the entire territory of the republic for a period of six months, starting from May 30, 2020,” said a presidency statement without giving further details.

The state of emergency in Tunisia was first declared on Nov. 24, 2015, following a bloody bomb attack on a bus of the presidential guards, killing 12 agents.

Tunisian emergency law allows the authorities’ exceptional powers, including carrying out home arrests, banning official meetings, imposing curfews, monitoring media and press, prohibiting assemblies, and media censorship without permission from the judiciary.

(XINHUA)

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