Algeria extends coronavirus restrictions by 15 days

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Algeria will extend measures aimed at restricting movement by 15 days until May 29 to cope with rising cases of infections with the novel coronavirus, Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerrad said on Tuesday.

The government last month decided to extend until May 14 restrictions on movement including a nationwide night curfew and closures of universities, schools and mosques. Public transport and air travel are still suspended.

The authorities this month ordered the closure of businesses including shops for clothing, shoes and pastry just days after being reopened for not observing social distancing.

“Some behaviour that may take us back are to be avoided,” Djerrad said.

The North African country has reported 5 891 confirmed infections, with 507 deaths and 2 841 recoveries.

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Last month, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune urged Algerians to be “disciplined” to help overcome COVID-19 as the number of cases and deaths rose. Some Algerians have ignored steps taken by the government to limit the spread of the virus, including a night curfew in ten provinces and a full lockdown in the Bilda area, south of the capital Algiers.

“You must be disciplined. We lack discipline,” Tebboune said at the beginning of April. “People must respect preventive measures and doctors’ advice.”

The Algerian government said it will spend $100 million to import equipment, including 100 million masks from China in addition to a local production of 90 000 masks per day.

“We have enough capabilities to cope with the crisis,” Tebboune said. “Regarding food, we have stocks for at least five months. There is no reason to panic.”