Tunisia-Classification of countries by seriousness of COVID-19 spread based on scientific indicators

According to the TAP, Tunisia’s classification of countries into green, orange or red zones, depending on the severity of the spread of the coronavirus, was based on scientific criteria and indicators approved by many countries around the world, member of the scientific committee for the fight against the coronavirus Habib Ghedira said on Thursday.

In a statement to TAP, Ghedira said among the most important indicators are the number of cases of infection recorded since the spread of the virus, the epidemic curve over the last 14 days and the number of arrivals carrying the virus in relation to the total number of arrivals in the country concerned.

This classification will be reviewed every three or four days depending on the evolution of the epidemiological conditions, Ghedira added, noting that the indicator of the spread of the virus RT, as well as the type of epidemic spread, depending on whether it is a medium or limited community spread in isolated areas, has also been retained.

As regards the classification of France in the orange region, while Germany and Italy were classified in the green zone, Ghedira explained that Germany is currently registering cases of infection in isolated areas, while Italy had stopped the community spread of the virus despite the registration of a number of deaths.

“France, on the other hand, continues to see a community spread and is therefore classified as an Orange zone,” he said.

Ghedira stressed that the Scientific Committee is monitoring developments around the world and is therefore analysing the relevant data, examining them and discussing them with the National Observatory of New and Emerging Diseases in order to update them and facilitate the process of entry into Tunisia by reclassifying certain countries.

The green zone includes countries that have successfully controlled the pandemic and have a low prevalence of the virus. Foreign and Tunisian travelers from these countries are allowed to enter Tunisia without restrictions, must fill out an electronic form and undergo prevention procedures including taking body temperature and answering certain questions related to the state of health.

The “orange zone” includes countries where the prevalence of the epidemic is moderate.

Travellers from these countries are required to provide an RT-PCR laboratory test through a nasal swab, and are subject to home self-isolation for a period of 14 days without recourse to any other procedure, unless symptoms of COVID-19 appear on them.

With regard to arrivals from countries classified in the “red zones”, “no tourists will be accepted”, says Ghedira.

He added that it is not possible to prevent Tunisian citizens residing in countries in this region from returning to his country, but they have to comply with one-week mandatory self-isolation and undergo a screening test from the sixth day of their arrival.

He explained that if the test results were positive, the person concerned would be accommodated in a COVID-19 care centre or in a hospital designated for that purpose in the event of a health complication.

The classification of countries by the National Observatory of New and Emerging Diseases on Wednesday involved 105 countries, based on the level of prevalence of coronavirus in each country.

These are the “green zone” countries, 46 of which have managed to control the pandemic, 59 countries classified in the “orange zone” where the epidemiological situation is considered “moderate”, while the rest of the countries in the world, except Algeria and Libya, have been classified in the “red zone”.

This classification does not concern Algeria and Libya, to which specific measures will be applied in organising the process of opening their borders with Tunisia.

No Arab countries have been classified in the “green zone”, while Morocco, Jordan and Lebanon have been classified in the “orange zone”.

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