Newly appointed Algerian Prime Minister Ayman Benabderrahmane is infected with COVID-19, Algerian state TV said on Saturday.

The prime minister, who had just formed his new government on Wednesday, will quarantine for seven days, but will continue performing his duties virtually, state TV said.

President Abdelmadjid Tebboune ordered his government to reimpose physical distancing and mask-wearing measures across the country on Saturday, as well as to speed up a vaccination drive to cope with a surge in infection cases, it said.

The North African country has so far reported 145 296 confirmed cases of coronavirus including 3 824 deaths.

Mobile vaccinations

In early June, the country set up mobile COVID-19 vaccination centres in several districts around the capital as part of a national campaign to speed up its vaccination drive. Citizens flocked to walk-in vaccination tents to receive their first or second dose, with one location in the Kitani square neighbourhood attracting 200 people on the first day of the campaign.

“We are really surprised by the turnout among citizens, we are really and sincerely happy. There is an important answer to the call,” Hani, a doctor on duty said.

The campaign, which started on Sunday, is expected to continue until September.

Algeria has administered at least 2 500 000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far. Assuming every person needs two doses, that’s enough to have vaccinated about 2.9% of the country’s population.

“I came to get vaccinated against COVID-19, so we don’t get sick and from this virus and for worry to disappear,” said Fatima a 71-year-old who was vaccinated.