TUNIS (Reuters) – Tunisia on Tuesday asked for donations to fund 250 intensive care beds to be placed in a sports hall in the capital as it tries to ramp up medical facilities in response to the coronavirus.

Tunisia, which has confirmed 596 cases of the virus and 22 deaths, has imposed a lockdown for more than two weeks, which it will keep in place until at least April 19.

However, officials have complained that many people are not respecting the need to isolate. Health Minister Abdellatif Mekki said on Tuesday: “Patients will die at the hospital doors if the violation of the lockdown continues”.

He added that the government would transfer anybody who tested positive for the coronavirus to a hospital or medical center.

(Reporting By Tarek Amara)