Authorities in Algeria imposed lockdown measures in 18 communes in the wilaya of Sétif, the second-most populous province in the country, on Tuesday, July 7, following a rise in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. The communes will see a curfew between the hours of 12:00 and 04:00 (local time) for fifteen days. Following the easing of lockdown measures a month ago, Algeria has seen an increase in cases, with the provinces of Blida and Algiers the worst affected. A record increase in COVID-19 cases was reported on Monday, July 6, with 463 reported in 24 hours.
President Abdelmadjid Tebboune announced on June 28 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, are suspended. Restrictions remain in place across the country. 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 Wednesday, July 8, there have been 16,879 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Algeria, with 968 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). 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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