Algerian state TV made the announcement but did not disclose any further details.Algeria becomes the second African country to register a confirmed case of coronavirus “Covid-19.” Algerian Health Minister Abderrahmane Benbouzid reported that the virus was identified in an Italian man who just arrived in the country. Presently, the individual has been quarantined and is receiving medical treatment. The ministry confirmed that they are carrying out thorough screening at all points of entry into the country.A previous study published by the medical journal Lancet listed Algeria as one of the countries with the highest risk of importing the virus from China. The virus has hit the country at the worst of times. There have been weekly street protests that had culminated in the remembrance of the Hirak movement on February 16. With no near end in sight, the news of the disease comes at a politically testing moment for the new president. The case was publicly announced by the country’s health minister, and confirmed by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune. Taking to Twitter, a directive was given to all medical agencies concerned to take maximum precautions and get the situation under control. He also urged citizens to be mindful of what they shared online.
Of all the Middle Eastern countries, Iran is the worst-hit with over 100 people infected and 15 losing their lives. This has compelled its neighbors to impose strict travel restrictions, some like the UAE even halting passenger and cargo flights. Armenia, Turkey, Kuwait, and Iraq have also followed suit with drastic measures against the Islamic Republic.
Italy is only 1,135 miles North of Algeria and has been hard-hit by the coronavirus. So far, Italian authorities have recorded 300 cases of infection with 11 deaths. It has been reported that Croatia, Austria, and Switzerland have reported their first cases of coronavirus involving people who had just arrived from Italy.
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Algeria confirms first Coronavirus case