Emergency Response: Tunisia COVID-19 Crisis
Tunisia’s health system has “collapsed” under the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health ministry said on Thursday, describing the virus’s affect on the country as “catastrophic”.
According to WHO, Tunisia reports the highest COVID-19 mortality rate in the Mediterranean Region and the African continent. The situation in the country continues to be extremely concerning.
Between 8000 and 9500 cases are currently being reported every day, with wide circulation of the Delta variant. In less than one week, the number of deaths almost doubled, from 119 deaths on 5 July to 189 deaths on 8 July.
The country of 12 million people has suffered over 480,000 cases and over 15,800 deaths.
“We are in a catastrophic situation … The health system collapsed, we can only find a bed in hospitals with great difficulty,” Health ministry spokesperson Nisaf Ben Alaya said.
“We are struggling to provide oxygen … Doctors are suffering from unprecedented fatigue,” she said, adding “the boat is sinking” and calling on all Tunisians to unite in efforts to combat the pandemic.
“The health situation will get worse if efforts are not united,” she added.
What Are We doing?
Some people with COVID-19 develop dangerously low levels of oxygen, without access to oxygen, their brain, liver, and other organs will be damaged. Oxygen beds are at 90% occupancy and intensive care unit beds are at 95% occupancy. In some governorates, hospital beds are over capacity. Hospitals are overwhelmed with limited numbers of available beds, and risk of shortage of oxygen supply. We are importing Oxygen Concentrators into Tunisia and distributing them to hospitals and rural health posts.
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