The Premier of Tunisia, Hichem Mechichi has announced the sacking of Faouzi Mehdi, the former minister of health in Tunisia over the overwhelming caseload of COVID-19 that left more than 17,000 people dead.
Mechihi in a statement added that the Minister’s performance is poor pointing to lack of oxygen at Tunisia hospitals and the abysmally slow rollout of vaccines.
He made the statement in a footage published on his Facebook page.
The Premier further informed the health officials that there is an extraordinary level of dysfunction at the head of Health Ministry.
“That is the reason why Tunisia hospitals have faced a lot of shortages of oxygen, staff, and intensive care beds, with fewer than eight percent of the population, fully vaccinated”.
Mechichi also added that neither the head of the government, nor the Governors nor the security services were aware ahead of time of the temporary opening of vaccination stations for eligible persons, which led to the stampede at some of the 29 vaccination centres and even made jabs stocks to run dry.
Analyst Kharat Selim stated a contradictory decision, noting that the health ministry had warned in May over potential oxygen shortages, and that oxygen concentrators sent from France in June due to bureaucratic delay were not fully operational.
“Tunisia had a big struggle getting it’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign off the ground. The decaying health facilities
have been swapped with COVID-19 patients. In some instances, dead bodies of the victims were left lying in the hospital wards next to other patients for up to 24 hours, due to staff shortage to organise transfers to overstretched mortuaries”.
Based on the World Health Organisation data, Tunisia currently has the third-highest rate of daily COVID-19 deaths per population in the world, after Ecuador and Namibia, as they are even more transparent with data’s than other countries.