Tunisia imposes curfew in two southern towns to counter coronavirus

TUNISIA has imposed a 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew in two southern towns to help contain a renewed coronavirus outbreak, the state news agency TAP said.

The North African nation is seeking to counter a second spread of COVID-19 evident since it reopened its borders on June 27 as part of steps to ease a lockdown and revive the economy, particularly the vital tourist industry.

Since then, however, Tunisia has recorded a major resurgence of infections, exceeding 100 per day over the last two weeks.

The curfew in the towns of Hamma and Hamma Gharbia will remain in effect until August 27.

The government, which has declared 2,543 cases of the virus along with 63 deaths, said it would not be able to shut down the economy again as losses from the lockdown were severe.

The tourism-dependent economy shrank 21.6% in the second quarter of 2020, compared with the same period last year, according to the government statistics agency. – Thomson Reuters Foundation.