On Thursday, May 28, Algerian authorities announced the extension to the country's current lockdown until June 13, in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The government announced that the extended lockdown will apply to 44 of the country's 48 provinces. Overnight curfews run from 17:00 to 07:00 (local time) in Algiers, Oran, Bejaia, Setif, Tizi Ouzou, Tipaza, Tlemcen, Ain Defla, and Medea, and from 14:00 to 07:00 for the majority of other provinces.
Some businesses were permitted to reopen from April 26, including those supplying building materials for public works, hairdressers, jewelers, and electronics shops. Additionally, face masks have been made compulsory in public spaces, while gatherings and public and private transport remain suspended.
All land borders remain closed and non-cargo international air and maritime travel, as well as domestic flights, suspended. Public spaces including schools, universities, and mosques also remain closed. A ban on all international commercial flights into the country remains in effect.
As of May 29, health authorities have confirmed 8997 COVID-19 cases and 630 associated deaths in the country. Further spread of the virus is expected in 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.
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