March 31, 2020 / 2:31 PM / 2 months ago

Tunisia releases 1,420 prisoners over coronavirus

TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia’s President Kais Saied on Tuesday ordered the release of 1,420 prisoners in an amnesty to combat the spread of the coronavirus in prisons, a presidency statement said.

Tunisia has declared a general lockdown to slow infection rates, and has confirmed 362 cases of the coronavirus, with nine deaths.

The government said in a separate statement that it would provide food assistance to thousands of families in their homes, starting Friday, for a period of about two months.

Saied last week ordered the army to deploy in the streets to force people to respect the lockdown.

Reporting By Tarek Amara; Writing by Angus McDowall; Editing by Alex Richardson

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