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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Tunisian PM visits Covid-19 field hospital dispatched by Qatar


The hospital is part of Qatar’s global ongoing efforts to help countries worldwide deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Tunisia’s Prime Minister and Acting Minister of Interior of the Republic Hichem Mechichi has paid a visit to a field hospital dispatched by Qatar on Friday to help the country with the ongoing rise of cases, authorities announced.

The official was accompanied by Qatar’s Ambassador to Tunisia Saad bin Nasser Al Hamidi, where both officials were briefed on the components of the latest field hospital.


Qatar sent the field hospital, along with other essential medical supplies, to the North African country on Friday — the day of which authorities recorded the country’s highest daily Covid-19 death toll and warned of a “catastrophe”.

In an effort to prevent Tunisia’s medical sector from crumbling due to the rise in cases and hospital admissions, two cargo military planes belonging to the Qatari Emiri Air Force were loaded with 200 medics and 100 respirators at the Al-Udeid base and sent to Tunis.

“This field hospital will be installed as soon as possible in the province of Ben Arous in the southern suburb of the capital in order to take care of Covid-19 patients and try to curb the spread of the pandemic in this region,” an official statement quoted the Secretary General of the government Walid Dhahbi as saying at the time.

Tunisian ambassador Saad bin Nasser said the medical aid will help Tunisian authorities and solidifies close relations between Doha and Tunis.

At the site of the field hospital, Mechichi thanked the Gulf country’s government for all their efforts and praised the hard-working group that supervised the installation of the hospital.

Last week, Tunisia passed a state of emergency bill as the country’s health ministry warned the health system has “collapsed” as Covid-19 rips through the North African nation.

PM Mechichi chaired a meeting to approve the bill, which allows the government to impose partial or general lockdown including limiting the movement of those suspected to be infected.

“The current health situation is catastrophic,” health ministry spokeswoman Nissaf Ben Alya said earlier this week. “The number of cases has risen dramatically. Unfortunately, the health system has collapsed,” she added.


“The health situation will get worse if efforts are not united.”

In the past few weeks alone, hospitals across the country have recorded a major flood of patients with Covid-19 symptoms. So far, more than 510,396 cases have been recorded as well as more than 16,651 deaths.

The country has also been recording over nine thousand new cases per day, bumping the number of current active cases to 87,396— the highest in Tunisia since the start of the pandemic.

The dire situation and appeals for urgent assistance prompted Arab leaders to pledge support for the North African country.

Last Friday, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Kuwait, Turkey and Algeria vowed to send medical assistance, including vaccines, to help authorities stamp out the second wave.

In 2020, Qatar also sent medical aid that included a field hospital to Tunisia on a Qatari Amiri Air Force to help the country control the pandemic.

Qatar global efforts

Qatar has been extending a helping hand to countries across the world since the outbreak began by providing much-needed medical aid and vaccines.

In a recent initiative, Doha supplied Paraguay with the first batch of the 99,600 doses of the Moderna vaccine, with the aim to donate a total of 400,000 vaccines to the South American country.

Read also: Qatar to provide one million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Pakistan

In April, Qatar announced a major $100 million initiative to vaccinate more than three million refugees and displaced people in 20 countries around the world.

Up to 3,650,000 of vulnerable populations, including internally displaced people and migrant communities are set be vaccinated as part of the campaign.

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