Coronavirus, concern in Tunisia over the “MU” variant
Tunisian virology specialist Amine Slim assured Thursday that the “Mu” variant is spreading in some countries. This variant is very virulent as it reduces the immunity of people vaccinated for covid-19 from 60 to 80 percent. Slim suggested that Tunisian authorities tighten border controls for travelers from countries such as Turkey, France, or Belgium, where this variant has been detected. The expert advised to test all arrivals from these countries at the airport with rapid tests and subject them to ten days of self-confinement at home to prevent this variant from spreading in Tunisia, and consequently a new wave of infections dead.
Tunisia has vaccinated over one million residents in less than two weeks, thanks to donations from friendly countries. But that may not be enough. In a statement to the “Tunis Afrique” news agency, the member of the scientific committee against Covid-19, Dr. Hanene Touiri, said that the effectiveness of the first dose of the vaccine does not exceed 30percent and even becomes superfluous in case the second dose is not administered.
Dr. Hanene Touiri indicated that immunizing healthy people with a single dose of the vaccine does not protect them from the risk of contagion. She stressed the Coronavirus seriousness, also warning against “its new mutated and very virulent forms.” The doctor highlighted that it is possible to reduce their spread and the risk of contagion only by resorting to vaccination and compliance with national health protocols according to the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO). The Tunisian expert also stressed that all types of Corona vaccines administered in Tunisia are effective and safe, calling for the abandonment of the misconceptions that have led many citizens to refrain from receiving specific types of vaccinations for fear of their possible side effects.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tunisia has recorded 680,074 confirmed cases and over 24,000 deaths. However, despite the vaccination campaign proceeding speedily, in the last 24 hours, the North African country has had 1711 new cases and 48 deaths. According to the authorities, the estimates could be much higher. Many Tunisian families continue to hide the sick at home for fear of not celebrating funerals or victims of social stigma, while the poorest neighborhoods struggle to access the test.