Tunisia extends the lockdown of coronavirus to 4 May, anticipating incremental relief

Tunisia is extending a lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus to May 4, then it will ease restrictions gradually on some economic activities, Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh said yesterday.

The government has said it expected Tunisia’s economy would shrink by up to 4.3 per cent, the steepest drop since independence in 1956, because of the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak.

The North African country has confirmed 866 cases of the coronavirus and 37 people have died. “The situation is relatively under control, but more caution is required,” Fakhfakh told state-run TV.

He added that the pace of normal life will not return quickly even after May 4. Tunisia’s vital tourism sector could lose US$1.4 billion (RM6.1 billion) and 400,000 jobs this year, an official letter sent to the IMF and seen by Reuters showed.