Coronavirus live news: UK expert says it is sensible for 12- to 15-year-olds to get Covid jab; Russia reports 799 deaths

AFP reports that North Africa coronavirus cases are “sharply declining”.

The agency looks at the situation in Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Libya, based on official figures it has collected.


Hechmi Louzir, director of the Pasteur Institute in Tunis, who is a member of the country’s scientific committee on the pandemic told AFP that up to 60 per cent of the population could be fully vaccinated by October, adding that large numbers of infections had also boosted levels of immunity.

AFP figures show that over the past week, Tunisia was vaccinating its population faster than any other African country, with 0.81 per cent of the population per day receiving a jab.

More than a quarter of Tunisians are now fully inoculated.

The past seven days saw 342 deaths from the virus – a fifth of the toll in the last week of July.


Morocco has had 13,800 Covid deaths in its population of around 36 million, according to AFP figures.

The kingdom is ahead of its Maghreb neighbours in inoculations, with 46.7 per cent fully vaccinated.

Health ministry official Abdelkrim Meziane Bellefquih said this week that infections were down for a fifth straight week.

But in comments reported by the official MAP news agency, he warned that “high rates of critical cases and deaths continue to be recorded”.

The country has pushed back the start of the new school year to 1 October and has launched a vaccination drive among teenagers.


Algeria’s official death toll from Covid-19 is 5,650.

In September it announced a target to vaccinate 70 per cent of its 43.9 million population by the end of the year.

AFP figures show that this week, barely 13 per cent of the population had received a first vaccine jab, with fewer than 10 per cent fully vaccinated.

While the first week of August saw 268 deaths, the last seven days saw 132.

Authorities have retained a curfew but reopened beaches, entertainment venues and sports grounds, with spectators required to present health passes. Weddings and political protests remain banned.

Algeria relaunched international flights in June after a suspension of more than a year.


Libya has officially recorded 4,500 Covid deaths among its seven million population.

In the last week of July it recorded 24,000 new cases and 204 deaths, but the past seven days have seen just a third of that number of infections and 83 deaths.

The country’s vaccination campaign got off to a slow start but, on 11 August, a centre was opened in the capital Tripoli, with another in the country’s east 10 days later – followed by a string of smaller ones.

An AFP tally shows that just over 18 per cent of Libyans have received a first jab.

But the vaccines have arrived in irregular batches, and just two per cent of Libyans have received the full two doses.

Libyan health authorities have noted a fall in infections in the west after the border with neighbouring Tunisia was closed on 8 July.

The frontier reopened on Friday with strict health measures in place to prevent another uptick in cases.

Authorities fear eastern Libya could see a similar uptick as cases surge in neighbouring Egypt.

Medical workers are seen at a vaccination center in Tunis, Tunisia, on 11 September 2021. Photograph: Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock

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