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17 Nov 2020 | 11:43 AM UTC

Authorities reimpose COVID-19 restrictions nationwide November 17

Authorities reimpose COVID-19 restrictions nationwide from November 17; follow authority directives

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Event

The Algerian government announced on Sunday, November 15, that some restrictions will be reimposed from Tuesday, November 17, as efforts continue to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Gyms, sports halls, cultural centers, recreational and leisure venues, and used car markets, as well as beaches, will close for 15 days. Businesses such as cafes, restaurants, hair salons, and toy shops will be required to close at 15:00 (local time). Cafes and restaurants will also be limited to takeaway services.

The Algerian government have also extended a number of COVID-19 restrictions until December 2 due to an increase in confirmed cases of the disease across the country. The nightly curfew between 20:00 and 05:00 has been extended, bringing the total provinces under curfews to 38. The provinces covered by the curfew include Algiers, Boumerdès, Souk Ahras, Tissemsilt, Djelfa, Mascara, Oum El Bouaghi, Batna, Bouïra, Relizane, Biskra, Khenchela, M'Sila, Chlef, Sidi Bel Abbès, Médéa, Blida, Bordj Bou Arréridj, Tipaza, Ouargla, Béchar, Constantine, Oran, Sétif, Annaba, Béjaïa, Adrar, Laghouat, and El Oued. Curfews are, however, constantly being reviewed or revised meaning that they may be more restrictive in certain areas. Authorities also announced that private and public transport remains suspended in urban areas throughout the country during weekends. Interprovincial public transport is also suspended.

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. Individuals permitted to enter Algeria, including returning Algerian nationals and foreign travelers, will be required to quarantine for seven days in a government-designated hotel followed by seven days of self-isolation at a location of the traveler's choosing.

Although some public spaces such as parks and mosques have been permitted to reopen, the wearing of face masks is mandatory in these areas is mandatory. All public gatherings remain prohibited and a nationwide ban on family gatherings also remains in place. Security forces will enforce measures; violators could face fines or other penalties.

As of Tuesday, November 17, there have been 68,589 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2168 associated fatalities in Algeria. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.

Context

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.

Advice

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.

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