On Saturday, April 18, Algerian authorities announced that nationwide curfew and lockdown measures, which were originally set to end on Sunday, April 19, will be extended through Wednesday, April 29, due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. An extended curfew from 15:00 to 07:00 (local time) has been in place in Algiers, Oran, Bejaia, Sétif, Tizi Ouzou, Tipaza, Tlemcen, Aïn Defla, and Médéa since Sunday, April 5, while other provinces observe the original curfew hours from 19:00 to 07:00. Meanwhile, Blida province remains in full lockdown since Monday, March 30, during which residents are required to stay at home and no one may enter or leave the province.
On Tuesday, March 17, the government declared the closure of all land borders and the suspension of all air and maritime links, except for those transporting goods. A ban on all marches and rallies, and the closure of mosques nationwide was also announced. Authorities have also ordered all cafes and restaurants in major cities to close as a precautionary measure. Schools, universities, and sporting events remain suspended.
As of April 18, there have been 2418 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Algeria, including 364 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is 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). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
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.