Tunisia extends coronavirus lockdown by two weeks

Tunisia announced Tuesday that it will extend a lockdown to contain the novel coronavirus by two weeks as cases and deaths continue to rise.

The National Security Council, which was convened under the leadership of President Kais Saied, decided to extend the quarantine from April 4 to April 19, according to a statement by the presidential office.

Saied said there is a need to review the criminal code so as to consider firms acting as food supply monopolists “war criminals.” Meanwhile, China announced that it is ready to help Tunisia.

President Xi Jinping sent a message to his Tunisian counterpart, according to a statement by Tunisia’s presidential office. In his message, Xi said he is ready to share his country’s experience in combatting the coronavirus and to provide financial assistance if Tunisia is planning to purchase more medical equipment.

He said the main goal is to preserve health and security of the people of China and Tunisia. As part of the support for the fight against COVID-19, Tunisia on Saturday bought medical equipment from China.

Tunisia said Tuesday that the country’s death toll had risen to 10 with 394 cases. After first appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the virus has spread to at least 179 countries and regions, according to U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

Its data shows the confirmed number of cases worldwide have surpassed 857,000, with the death toll over 42,000 and more than 178,000 recoveries.