The office of Algerian Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad announced on Sunday, July 26, that the partial lockdown in 29 of the country's 48 provinces, including Algiers, has been extended until August 12, as a precaution to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The measures include a curfew between the hours of 20:00 and 05:00 (local time), a ban on movement between provinces, other than for essential goods and security forces, and the permission for local authorities to take necessary precautionary measures to limit the spread of the disease. A full list of measures and affected provinces can be found here.
Previously, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune announced that the country's borders will remain closed until the end of the pandemic. Non-cargo international air and maritime travel, as well as domestic flights, also remain suspended. Face masks are compulsory in public, and anyone found to be violating the measures will be subject to heavy fines. Public spaces, including schools, universities, and mosques, remain closed.
Algerian authorities began the first phase of easing restrictions at the beginning of June, with the majority of businesses permitted to reopen. Public transportation including buses and taxi services have partially resumed, with capacity limits for the number of passengers.
As of July 26, there have been 27,357 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Algeria, with 1155 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.