July 21, 2021

Tunisia: Health Minister Shown Door as COVID-19 Cases Leap

The prime minister of Tunisia announced the firing of the health ministry’s head official as the government combats surging coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.

The office of Hichem Mechichi sent out a brief statement on Tuesday, 20 July, explaining that Dr Faouzi Mehdi had been relieved of his position. No reason for his firing was provided.

Dr Mehdi’s sacking follows the ministry’s recent admission that Tunisia’s health sector was struggling to contain the rising number of COVID-19 infections, with spokesperson Nissaf Ben Alya claiming on 8 July that the situation was “catastrophic” while talking to a local radio station.

Local authorities have commented that even with special field hospitals operating to expand healthcare services and vaccinations, they are simply not enough.

Social Affairs minister, Mohamed Trabelsi, will temporarily oversee the beleaguered health ministry until a new head is installed.

Tunisia has seen 554 911 confirmed cases of COVID-19; 17 821 people have succumbed to the virus so far, while 443 979 others have recovered.