TUNIS (Reuters) – Tunisia recorded zero new coronavirus cases for the first time since early March, health authorities said on Monday, as the government will further relax restrictions on movement and businesses.

Tunisia, which reported its first case on March 2, has confirmed 1,032 cases in all and 45 deaths.

The North Africa country, which has about 500 intensive care beds, said 745 patients recovered and only 11 were still in hospital.

Tunisia started relaxing its coronavirus lockdown last week, reopening parts of the food, construction and transport sectors and allowing half of government employees to return to work.

Shopping centres, clothing shops and hairdressers will open on Monday, with more indications that Tunisia is close to controlling the pandemic.

Tunisia said the country’s economy will shrink by up to 4.3%, the steepest drop since independence in 1956. The key tourism sector could lose $1.4 billion and 400,000 jobs this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

(Reporting By Tarek Amara; Editing by Kim Coghill)