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The anti-coronavirus vaccination will be open to all adults in Tunisia on Tuesday and Wednesday, religious holidays, Tunisian Minister of Health Faouzi Mehdi announced Monday, July 19, while private clinics are requisitioned to support overwhelmed hospitals .
Tunisia, whose vaccine stocks remained limited until recently, only fully vaccinated 913,000 people, or about 8% of its population, a rate that remains among the highest in Africa.
Faced with the health disaster in the country plagued by an upsurge in cases of contamination, Tunis has received donations and pledges of several million doses of vaccine in recent days. “We have decided to organize open days for vaccination on Tuesday and Wednesday in 29 centers for all residents over 18”, announced the Minister of Health at a press conference.
These vaccination days coincide with Eid Al-Adha, a big Muslim holiday on the occasion of which families get together. Sinopharm and AstraZeneca vaccines will be administered, the latter being reserved for over 45s.
“We are holding on”
For several weeks, hospitals in Tunisia have been overwhelmed with a large influx of patients in the midst of a new wave of the spread of SARS-CoV-2, which is reaching unprecedented levels.
The country of 12 million people recorded 145 deaths per day on average over the past week. Since the start of the pandemic, some 16,500 deaths have officially been recorded there.
In recent days, public hospitals have sounded the alarm on the lack of oxygen and care units have experienced worrying shortages.
The head of government, Hichem Mechichi, announced on Saturday that he was requisitioning private sector clinics in several particularly affected areas, notably in Tunis and in seaside resorts in the east of the country such as Sousse, Monastir or Nabeul.
The Minister of Health, indicating that the country’s oxygen consumption had increased from 25,000 liters per day in normal times to 230,000 liters currently, denied any death linked to a lack of oxygen. “We are holding on”, he assured.