Tunisian official denies re-closing borders amid increasing COVID-19 cases

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Airport security scan the luggage of passengers arriving on an incoming international commercial flight at Tunis-Carthage International Airport in the Tunisian capital. (Photo by FETHI BELAID / AFP)

A health official in Tunisia on Tuesday denied the possibility of re-closing borders in spite of an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

The closure of borders will not help reach any solution to control the spread of the epidemic, Nissaf Ben Alaya, director-general of the National Observatory of New and Emerging Diseases, told local Al-Jawhara Radio.

Medical measures must be taken to stop and control its spread, she said, stressing the need to follow preventive measures, including avoiding gatherings and wearing masks, to protect vulnerable groups, especially those with chronic diseases.

Noting that 26 staff members at Tunis International Airport were infected with coronavirus in the past few days, the official said all of them were transferred to a hospital or a quarantine site.

As of Tuesday, Tunisia reported 19 new confirmed cases, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 1,584.

The Tunisian government has imposed strict confinement measures since the announcement of its first coronavirus case on March 2.

Tunisia reopened its air, land and maritime borders to tourists on June 27, three months after the borders were closed due to the pandemic.

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