The spread of the Coronavirus did not spare the city of Tunis. The first diagnosed case dates back to March 2.
The concern of the City Council is to be effective in its fight against this pandemic, even though the decentralization process recently adopted by the parliament has not yet been implemented and most services are still provided by the centralized authority.
In this very specific context of the evolution of local governance, the Mayor of Tunis quickly took the following initiatives.
On March 9, she convened all 38 Mayors of the Greater Tunis with the presence of the Minister of Local Affairs and an expert from the Ministry of Health to mobilize her colleagues regarding the urgent need to raise the awareness of the population about a process of prevention against this imminent health peril.
Regarding municipal staff, as of March 10, the municipality of Tunis widely distributed to its workers the necessary protective equipments; such as gloves and cleaning products. All the municipal agents have been advised to wash their hands several times a day and to avoid touching their faces.
As for the general municipal activities, the following measures have been taken:
• Postponement of meetings, conferences and events involving more than 50 people
• Social distancing: the necessity of keeping a meter away, whether during small work meetings or in public reception areas,
• Cancellation of all work trips abroad,
• Setting up awareness raising activities in areas open to the general public.
• Encouraging work from home and distance communication.
On March 11, a municipal prevention plan which includes the following concrete steps was adopted:
• several disinfection campaigns throughout the city of Tunis have been carried out
• Installation of hand washing facilities (sinks) in several areas of the city of Tunis.
• Closure of the municipal theatre and other youth and cultural venues.
• Tightening hygiene and cleaning measures
• Respect for hygiene in areas open to the public and in municipal buildings
• Increase of awareness campaigns
• Particular care for the protection of municipal workers
On March 12, a municipal decree has been issued prohibiting the public use of risky tools such as the nargilas in cafés and in facilities open to the public.
A single phone number which is available 7 days a week is offered to the public to answer their questions and help them. This number can also be used to inform the municipality about the risk of non-compliance with the preventive measures.
As of March 16, the City Council approved measures to close:
-Video games halls
On March 19, the Mayor of Tunis decided to set up a call centre to respond to all questions or requests that citizens might have concerning the Coronavirus and also to ensure the coordination with the Ministry of Health and all other stakeholders.