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Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies

COVID-19 in Tunisia: A country adrift | MEDirections Blog

Writing for the MEDirections blog, Nedra Cherif discusses how Tunisia's mismanagement of the COVID-19 epidemic has impacted African and Arab countries.

23 July 2021 | Blog

COVID19 Mask in front of Tunisian Flag

"Within a year of the Covid-19 epidemic starting in Tunisia, the North African country has turned from a widely praised example of efficient crisis management to the “bad boy” of the Arab region and of the African continent. While the lightning spread of the virus in the country is putting a strain on an already shaky healthcare system, reversing the downward spiral would require more than a health-based response. Indeed, tackling the multifaceted crisis that has gripped Tunisia for the last months head on, would mean everyone facing up to their responsibilities."

On 21 July 2021, Nadra Cherif (an independent analyst and researcher contributing to the MEDirections Libya Initiative) wrote the MEDirections blogpost, 'COVID-19 in Tunisia: A country adrift.' Cherif details how over the month of July, Tunisia, a country with a population of 12 million, has averaged over 7,000 new infections a day, and almost 200 deaths each day. In her words, "the sanitary situation has outstripped even the worst expectations. Registering the highest per-capita death toll and one of the highest per-capita infection rates in the Arab and African regions."

Her blogspot provides a summary of how the Tunisian government failed to cope develop a comprehensive national strategy to fighting the virus, and discusses potential strategies for improving the situation, including making vaccination centers more accessible, utilising the army's logistical capabilities to help support healthcare services and more. 

Read the full piece on the MEDirections website now. 

Last update: 23 September 2022

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