Tunisia’s president has ordered the military to take over management of the national COVID-19 pandemic response
TUNIS, Tunisia — Tunisia’s president on Wednesday ordered the military to take over management of the national COVID-19 pandemic response, as the country fights one of Africa’s worst outbreaks.
Meanwhile, a new interim health minister was taking office Wednesday, after his predecessor was fired over a surprise decision to open vaccination centers to adults of all ages for the first time for the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha this week.
Authorities were unprepared for the decision, which prompted confusion and chaos as crowds massed at vaccination centers. The president called it a “crime” to incite such gatherings just as the government is trying to discourage crowds and limit the spread of the virus.
Eid al-Adha, or the “Feast of Sacrifice,” is typically marked by communal prayers, large social gatherings, slaughtering of livestock and distributing meat to the needy. This year, Tunisian authorities restricted gatherings and reinstated a curfew in some regions where infections are high.
The country also closed some of its Mediterranean beaches in a new blow for the long-struggling tourism sector.