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Tunisia imposes curfew, Switzerland cuts isolation period against Omicron

The Tunisian government announced, Wednesday, January 12, the establishment of a night curfew for at least two weeks in the face of a meteoric resumption of the Covid-19 epidemic in the country. In Switzerland, the duration of isolation in case of contamination has been halved, in order to cope with a wave of infections which threatens to paralyze the economy.

The pandemic has killed at least 5,503,347 people around the world since the end of December 2019, according to a report established by Agence France-Presse on Wednesday from official sources.

In absolute terms, the United States is the most bereaved country with 842,322 deaths, followed by Brazil (620,238), India (484,655) and Russia (318,432 deaths). Among the hardest hit countries, Peru is the one with the highest death toll relative to its population, followed by Bosnia and Hungary.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, taking into account the excess mortality directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19, that the toll of the pandemic could be two to three times higher than that officially recorded.

  • In Tunisia, curfew and intensification of the vaccination campaign

« To cope with the evolution of the epidemic », the Tunisian government announced « A curfew from 10 p.m. (local time) until 5 a.m. (local time), implemented by the regional authorities depending on the rate of infection », according to an official statement.

The measures, which will be in effect from Thursday, are valid « For a renewable period of two weeks ». The government, on the basis of recommendations from the scientific council, has also asked to « Postpone or cancel » all public gatherings or events, « Whether in open or closed spaces ».

Tunisia will, moreover, also intensify « Vaccination operations » and ensuring that the population takes their booster doses. The country had managed to control the situation thanks to a mass vaccination campaign, which has run out of steam lately. Just over six million people are fully vaccinated, or nearly 52% of the population, according to the Johns Hopkins University Covid-19 Research Center.

Health border controls will also be strengthened, with systematic tests on people entering the country and a recommendation not to go to the most contaminated areas of the country. Finally, the government calls for better respect for health measures such as wearing a mask, physical distance and ventilation of closed spaces.

Since December 22, Tunisia has implemented a vaccine pass for access to public buildings and shopping centers. It is supposed to also apply in cafes and restaurants, but many do not enforce it.

After a rate of contamination of 100 to 200 new cases per day in December, since the beginning of the year, Tunisia has seen contagions, counting between 1,500 and 2,000 new cases per day.

  • Switzerland halves the length of isolation against Omicron

The Swiss health authorities on Tuesday, January 11, gave their agreement to the reduction, by two, of the isolation period in the event of contamination with Covid-19, which thus goes from ten to five days, announced on Wednesday the government. . This measure was taken when tens of thousands of people are infected every day in Switzerland with the highly contagious Omicron variant.

Authorities fear this wave will overwhelm the health system in a country where only two-thirds of the population have received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine and only 30% have had a booster.

The government has also proposed to extend until the end of March the restrictions to limit social interactions, reinforced last month, while trying to avoid new lockdowns as well as the vaccination obligation, put in place by neighboring Austria. .

« The epidemiological situation is critical and remains difficult to assess »the government said in a statement.

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