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Restriction measures are being stepped up around the Mediterranean


The situation related to the pandemic is changing almost daily, with measures taken region by region or city by city in some countries.



Most Mediterranean cities are under containment or curfew (photo: F. Dubessy).
Most Mediterranean cities are under containment or curfew (photo: F. Dubessy).
MEDITERRANEAN. France currently limits its restrictions to a curfew at 6pm. Many sectors of activity are closed: culture, restaurants, bars, sports halls...

In Spain, the number of cases (nearly 40,000 on 13/01) and deaths (195 on 13/01) is at record levels. Each region implements its own policy, generally with a curfew, the closure of certain towns, as in Catalonia, and the closure of businesses deemed non-essential.

Portugal has just announced a new generalised confinement from Friday 15 January 2021. As in Spain, the epidemic is at its highest level (more than 10,000 cases and 156 deaths on 13/01). Schools, courts and places of worship will remain open. The presidential election of 24 January 2021 is maintained.

Partial reconfinement in Italy where measures to combat the epidemic vary according to the level of risk. New measures in force from 16 January prohibit travel between regions. The curfew (10 pm to 5 am) remains in place, with bars and restaurants closed at 6 pm. Indoor cultural and sports activities are still prohibited, as are ski lifts in ski resorts.

Increase in cases in Tunisia

In Morocco (1266 cases and 26 deaths on 14/01), no confinement, but an increasingly early curfew (8 pm) for certain activities (restaurants, cafés, shops, supermarkets), at 9 pm for everyone.

Algeria remains on alert. The curfew from 7 pm to 5 am is maintained in twenty-nine wilayas, inter-wilaya transport (train, buses, taxis) has resumed, as has the functioning of Koranic schools. Activities deemed to be risky (weddings, indoor sports, culture, second-hand car sales markets, etc.) are still forbidden in twenty-nine wilayas, while restaurants and cafés are still unable to take in customers.

Nothing is going well in Tunisia where the number of deaths (72 identified on 12/01) and of sick people (3,632 new contaminations on 12/01) climbs every day. The country is being reconfirmed from 14 to 18 January 2021, with all types of gatherings put on hold and a ban on traffic from 3 pm to 5 am from Thursday to Sunday. Classes are suspended until January 24th.

Figures are also on the rise in Egypt according to the WHO (World Health Organisation), but the government in power imposes a leaden blanket on information. More than 1,400 new cases are said to be detected daily. Most health professionals believe that the official figures should be multiplied by four or five to get closer to reality. The State has decided to ignore the pandemic: public services, businesses and schools remain open. The country has no confinement or curfews, restaurants and theatres are operating.

Contested figures in Turkey

Israel was already under confinement, but the government has just tightened the rules even more. Israelis cannot move more than a kilometre from their homes, go or receive people, most businesses limit their activity to deliveries, schools are closed. Israel deplores 9,000 new patients every day, with an average of around 40 deaths.

Lebanon beats its daily record for contamination (4,166 on 13/01). It has opted for reconfinement which began on 14 January. Only people assigned to tasks deemed essential can go to their workplaces. Shops remain closed and must deliver their goods.

As in Egypt, the figures provided by the Turkish regime (10,000 cases and 174 deaths per day) are widely disputed by NGOs and health professionals. While the medical profession calls for total containment, the government has implemented a curfew during the week from 21:00, limiting containment to weekends. Tourists remain free to travel and consume freely in Istanbul.

Greece has just extended its confinement, with face-to-face teaching up to primary school, and distance education for secondary schools, colleges and universities. The Covid 19 mows down thirty to forty people a day.


 

Gérard Tur


Friday, January 15th 2021



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