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Coronavirus lockdown uncovers vulnerability of Tunisia’s economy

Despite government measures to help those most affected by a general lockdown aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus, Tunisia’s economy is being dealt a heavy blow.
TUNIS, TUNISIA - 2020/04/20: A man wearing a protective face mask as a preventive measure against the spread of coronavirus walks through an alley of the souk in the Medina.
The lockdown imposed to help fight the spread of coronavirus pandemic in Tunisia has been extended for the 3rd time. Tunisia has recorded a total of 884 confirmed case, 148 recovered and 38 deaths by the corona virus disease. (Photo by Jdidi Wassim/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Tunisia’s initial two-week coronavirus lockdown will continue until May 3 amid growing fears over its economic impact. Health Care Minister Abdellatif Mekki claims the country has overcome with minimal damage the critical phase of the epidemic. But the restrictions hurt the economy immensely, with the International Monetary Fund projecting a 4.3% fall in economic growth in 2020.

“This is the country’s deepest economic depression since its independence from France in 1956,” Lotfi Saibi, economic analyst and founder and director at 4D Leadership House (a consultancy agency in Tunis), tells Al-Monitor. 

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