Tunisia reports 2,123 new COVID-19 cases amid fears of third wave of infections

GABES, TUNISIA - AUGUST 24: : Health workers test people for possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection during the novel coronavirus pandemic at a COVID-19 test station at a field hospital, built after positive cases increased, in Al Hammah Range in Gabes, Tunisia on August 24, 2020. (Photo by Nacer Talel/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Tunisia’s Ministry of Health reported 2,123 new confirmed coronavirus cases raising the number of infections in the country to 276,727 as the health system struggles to cope with a surge in infections.

The ministry also reported an additional 84 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 9,480.

FILE PHOTO: Healthcare workers conduct free PCR checks for Covid-19 on Avenue Habib Bourguiba in Tunis, Tunisia. (Photographer: Amira Karaoud/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Earlier this month, Minister of Health Faouzi Mehdi warned of a third wave of the pandemic even as the country continued recording more cases of the UK COVID-19 variant.

Last week, Mehdi said beds in the intensive care units in Tunisia’s public hospitals were about 80 percent full.

The Tunisian government recently announced fresh measures to contain the spread of the virus, including an extension of the nighttime curfew and prevention of all gatherings and weekly markets. It also announced the imposition of quarantine for all visitors who need to show COVID-19 tests upon arrival.

The North African country is one of six Arab nations which have registered a recent increase in the number of new COVID-19 infections and deaths. The other five nations are: Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Yemen.

The surge in cases also prompted Morocco to indefinitely suspend all flights to and from Tunisia from April 15.

Tunisia is one of 11 African countries to be affected by the suspension, which comprises a total of 40 countries globally.

(Story compiled with assistance from wire reports)

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