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Coronavirus: Tunisia imposes night curfew in bid to halt spread of virus

President Kais Saied said army will patrol the streets and curfew will run from 6pm to 6am local time
Tunisia has instituted tough measures to halt the spread of the coronavirus (Reuters)
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Tunis

Tunisian President Kais Saied has said a night curfew will commence from Wednesday in a bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

Saied, who was elected last year with groudswell support, said the the army would patrol the streets with the curfew running daily from 6pm to 6am local time.

The 62-year-old also asked Tunisians to stay at home, avoid moving during daylight hours, and consider donating half their salaries in the fight against the disease.

"For those who are able to, it's not unreasonable to donate half of their salaries, and I will be the first to do so, so that we can guarantee that everyone will face the current circumstances unharmed," he said.

Health authorities in the North African country have reported 24 cases of the coronavirus. There have been no fatalities.

Tunisia has instituted tough measures to halt the spread of the virus by suspending all international flights and closing its borders, shuttering schools, mosques, markets and bars, and limiting cafe opening hours to mornings.

Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh said in a televised address on Monday that if people did not respect the state's coronavirus instructions, thousands of people could end up being infected.

The outbreak of the disease was labelled a pandemic by the World Health Organisation on Wednesday as the worldwide death toll continues to grow

Total cases have surpassed 190,000 across 140 countries.