Tunisia‘s Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi sacked Health Minister Faouzi Mehdi on Tuesday, according to Mechichi’s office, citing an increase in coronavirus infections in the country.
Tunisia’s health system “collapsed” under the weight of the pandemic, which has killed more than 17 000 people in a population of approximately 12 million people, according to the ministry earlier this month.
In a brief statement, Mechichi’s office announced Mehdi’s dis
missal without providing an explanation.
Minister of Social Affairs Mohamed Trabelsi will serve as a caretaker for the ministry, according to the statement.
Mehdi had initiated a temporary opening of vaccination stations to all Tunisians over 18 for Tuesday and Wednesday, leading to stampedes.
To avoid a new rush, the government on Wednesday limited immunisation access to adults over the age of 40.
Mehdi’s dismissal is the latest evidence of unrest in a cabinet that has already seen numerous ministers resign over disagreements with parliament and the president.