Tunisia is extending its virus curfew and banning demonstrations as it tries to stem a rapid rise in infections and calm tensions after a week of protests and rioting over economic troubles.
Starting Monday, the government is also forbidding travel between regions and ordering all people over 65 to stay at home as part of stricter virus measures announced Saturday by Tunisian Health Ministry spokesperson Nissaf Ben Alaya.
Tunisia reported 103 virus-related deaths Thursday, the highest figure to date in the country of 11 million people. It also has among the highest rates in Africa. Local media reports cite doctors describing hospitals that are already too full to accept more virus patients.
The rising infections are raising new alarm at a time when the government is facing unrest among youth nationwide over poverty and lack of jobs.
A few hundred protesters gathered Saturday on the central Tunis thoroughfare Avenue Bourguiba to demand the release of those arrested during clashes with police over the past week. Human rights groups say some 1,000 people were detained and dozens ordered jailed for vandalism and theft.
Source: Associated Press