Tunisia: COVID-19 Risk Minimal as Initial EG.5 Variant Case Identified

by | Sep 6, 2023 | Security, Social, Tunisia


On 5 September 2023, an official from Institut Pasteur announced that the first case of the Eris (or EG.5) variant of the COVID-19 virus had been identified in Tunisia.

The variant was identified in a baby, who is reported to be in good health. The virus did not spread beyond to the baby’s family or to any other personnel at the hospital.

The Eris variant was first reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in February 2023 and designated as a variant under monitoring in July 2023.

In late August, a Tunisia official provided an update regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in Tunisia, stating that approximately 2 – 3 people are hospitalized daily due to COVID-19. They added that approximately 5 cases required intensive care in “recent months.”

The WHO assessed that the “public health risk posed by EG.5 is evaluated as low at the global level.”

On 5 May 2023, the WHO downgraded COVID-19 from being a “global health emergency.” However, the WHO continues to monitor a range of variants and sub-variants that are detected globally.


The risk from COVID-19 in Tunisia is now relatively low despite occasional cases. Individual cases can come with severe symptoms, which highlights the need for caution when symptoms are identified to avoid spreading the virus.

The healthcare system remains under-resourced, particularly within the public healthcare system that many Tunisians must leverage. Those in rural communities often face significant barriers to sufficient treatment.

Medicine shortages have been an ongoing challenge with the central pharmacy struggling to finance the purchase of medicines.


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