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Covid-19 prevents Tunisians from bidding farewell to their loved ones

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An ambulance stops just outside the Djellaz cemetery in Tunis, Tunisia's capital. It deposits a corpse and the officials at the cemetery take it out to prepare it for burial. The corpse is yet another victim of Covid 19 in the north African country. 

Few relatives and mourners are gathered near the cemetery to pay their last respects. But it is much more difficult for them. They are not only distraught, they are annoyed as well.

Due to Covid restrictions, many Tunisians have been prevented from bidding proper farewell to their loved ones.

**"They (the municipality) could have taken him (the body) out in front of the house, at least for half an hour, even from a distance, so that he (the body) could be seen from a distance. That was not possible."- **Lotfi Jlassi, the brother of the deceased person whose body was taken out from the ambulance lamented.

The Djellaz cemetery buries the dead who died of Covid-19 in a separated squared space. 

Mehdi Dellai, team leader of the mortuary service municipality of Tunis, explains that families are are allowed to pay their last respects 

"The presence of families are accepted but while respecting the (social) distance. It is necessary to keep a certain distance to protect all the people on site. It is a very difficult mission physically and psychologically and it weighs on us a lot."

The rising Covid infections in Tunisia is raising alarm at a time when the government is facing unrest among youth nationwide over poverty and lack of jobs.

Health workers are under immense pressure to treat and save COVID-19 patients, as cases soar during the country's severe second wave.

The country of 11 million people has reported more than 219,000 cases and 7,378 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

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