President Abdelmadjid Tebboune announced on Sunday, June 28, that the country's borders, closed since March 19 in efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, will remain closed until the end of the pandemic. Non-cargo international air and maritime travel, as well as domestic flights, are suspended. The decision comes after the country recorded its highest daily number of confirmed cases on Saturday, June 27, with 283 new COVID-19 cases reported in a day.
Restrictions remain in place across the country. Face masks are to be worn by all individuals since May 24; anyone found to be violating the measures will be subject to heavy fines. Public spaces including schools, universities, and mosques remain closed. The Algerian government began easing some measures in recent weeks and authorities announced on Sunday that firmer measures will be taken against individuals who are not respecting social distancing guidelines and other preventative measures.
On Sunday, June 7, Algerian authorities began the first phase of easing restrictions. During this, several industries were permitted to resume operations, including plumbers, painters, travel agents, fast food restaurants (take-away only), and art galleries. The second phase of easing restrictions began on June 14; curfews were lifted in the following provinces: El Bayadh, Ain Defla, Ghardaïa, Guelma, Illizi, Jijel, Mila, Mostaganem, Naama, Saida, Skikda, Tamanrasset, El Tarf, Tebessa, Ain Temouchent, Tiaret, Tindouf, Tizi-Ouzou, and Tlemcen. In the remaining 29 provinces, which includes Algiers, the curfew remains between 20:00 and 05:00 (local time). Public transportation including buses and taxi services have partially resumed, with capacity limits for the number of passengers. Other businesses such as clothing shops, car rentals, and hair salons have also been permitted to reopen.
As of Monday, June 29, there are 13,273 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Algeria with 897 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be 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.
Copyright and Disclaimer