Covid-19: in Tunisia, overwhelmed hospitals and accumulating bodies

Covid-19: in Tunisia, overwhelmed hospitals and accumulating bodies
Covid-19: in Tunisia, overwhelmed hospitals and accumulating bodies

SUBMERSION – The country, faced with a shortage of staff and an outbreak of Covid-19 cases, has had to resolve to confine six governorates where the rate of spread of the virus is particularly high.

MM with AFP – 2021-07-06T12:36:34.741+02:00

Never, since the start of the crisis, has Tunisia faced such an influx of patients. The country, whose hospitals are starting to be overwhelmed in the face of the spread of Covid-19, has even confined six governorates where the rate of spread of the virus is particularly high, including Kairouan.

Because Tunisia has recorded an unprecedented number of daily deaths since the start of the pandemic, bringing the toll to more than 15,000 deaths for 12 million inhabitants, and more than 600 people are currently in intensive care. The official number of total cases exceeds 445,000. 92% of resuscitation beds in public hospitals are currently occupied and those in the capital, Tunis, are full.

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The Ibn Jazzar hospital in the confined region of Kairouan (center) had such an influx of patients that “some of them die without realizing it”, deplores a nurse, Imen Fteiti. Bodies even remained in the rooms for up to 24 hours, due to a lack of personnel to take them to a morgue, which was already full.

Doctors, nurses and NGOs have sounded the alarm in Kairouan. An online prize pool has been organized. Daily oxygen consumption has reached a level of 5,500 liters per day, up from 400 to 500 before the start of the new peak two weeks ago, according to the regional health administration in Kairouan.

Only 4% of the Tunisian population are vaccinated

In this marginalized region, health establishments, both public and private, have only 45 resuscitation beds and 250 oxygen devices, according to health authorities. A sports hall has been converted into a hospital.

For Slah Soui, resuscitator of the second largest hospital in Kairouan, the “Aghlabids”, the disastrous health situation is explained by “recklessness and non-compliance with the rules of physical distancing” but also by “too low a level of vaccination”.

Shortage of doses, lack of awareness: out of 593,000 inhabitants of Kairouan, only 95,000 are registered to be vaccinated, half of whom have had at least one dose. Nationwide, 575,000 people have had two doses, or about 4% of the population.

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Covid19 Tunisia overwhelmed hospitals accumulating bodies

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