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Tunisia receives over 1 mln covid doses, oxygens from France

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FETHI BELAID/AFP or licensors


Tunisian on Friday took delivery of more than a million doses of covid-19 vaccines from France.

At the port of Rades, a southern suburb of Tunis, the French navy also delivered three tanks filled with liquefied oxygen.

In this north African nation, medics are currently struggling to deal with rise in the number of infections.

French Secretary of State, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said the doses will enable the inoculation of around 3,000 people in a day.

"The pandemic is very active, the virus is on the rise, and this is why the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, wanted a big solidarity action which results in both the supply of oxygen and also the delivery of more than one million doses of vaccines", the French Secretary of State for Tourism, French living abroad, and Francophonie said.

So far, Paris has supplied 624,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines, including 324,000 via the Covax initiative. 500,000 doses of the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine will be added shortly, he said.

"The best recipe is to stick together. This is what the French leaders are doing with the Tunisian leaders. My dearest wish is that we all come to the end of this pandemic because a single state will not come out of it on its own. This is global and this is a response through cooperation", Lemoyne said.

Tunisia, a country of 12 million people, has now received about 3.2 million doses of the vaccine. It hopes to obtain more than 5 million by mid-August, the Tunisian health ministry said.

The United States of America, Saudi Arabia and China have also provided vaccines to Tunisia, where the vaccination campaign has long been slow, mainly due to a lack of doses.

Tunisia has registered 558,000 confirmed cases, 454, 000 people have recovered and 18,052 deaths as of Friday July 23.

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