Tunisia: Ministry of Health Sets Up Action Plan to Identify Patients Potentially Infected With Coronavirus

Tunis/Tunisia — The Health Ministry has implemented an action plan to equip airports, ports and border crossings with temperature sensors for coronavirus, Acting Health Minister Sonia Besheikh said on Monday.

The ministry has also taken a series of measures targeting travellers arriving from China to treat potential patients, she indicated at a press conference.

Those suspected of being infected will be placed in an equipped isolated room to undergo necessary analyses in a laboratory set up by the Ministry of Health.

Besheikh explained that the necessary tests are first carried out on the suspects in an isolated hall inside the Tunis-Carthage airport.

If the test results are positive, patients will be taken by ambulance to the isolation units at Abderrahmen Memmi Hospital in Ariana.

She also affirmed the Ministry's ability to provide isolation units in hospitals to separate patients and to protect medical personnel working there in the event of an emergency, noting that the World Health Organisation has not yet declared the new coronovirus a global epidemic, nor prevented people from travelling to China.

The concerned services will remain in touch with people arriving from China for 12 days after their arrival to check their health condition, the Minister said.

The Ministry of Health is starting to distribute brochures and leaflets to travellers from all airports, ports and border crossings, containing all the necessary advice, recommendations and figures as part of its coronavirus prevention plan, said Besheikh, adding no antidote for the virus has not yet been found.

No cases of the virus have been recorded in Tunisia so far, according to the World Health Organisation.

The toll from the viral pneumonia epidemic in China has risen to 56 dead and nearly 2,000 infected.

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