June 04, 2020 | Press review Algeria

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Photo: John S. on Flickr

Clinical trials on hydroxychloroquine resumed – Algeria confirmed in its position

The announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) of the resumption of clinical trials on hydroxychloroquine, nine days after having suspended them, reinforces the position of Algeria, which has decided not to abandon the use of this molecule in the treatment against the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

For more information (in French), please consult the following link.

The Government adopts the roadmap for deconfinement

The plan for the gradual lifting of the confinement, which will be initiated from 14 June, in the form of lifting or adjusting the partial sanitary confinement in force, will take into account the evolution of the epidemiological situation at the national level and in each wilaya through relevant indicators, in particular:

  • The reproduction rate known as R(t) below 1.
  • The daily flow of new cases of recorded infections.

The list of wilayas concerned by partial sanitary containment will be evaluated and revised every fortnight, according to the above-mentioned criteria, in order to verify that the measures implemented have not favoured the risk of disease transmission. In any event, the level of scientific and medical uncertainty about the course of the epidemic calls for very great caution, which will continue to be the case after 14 June.

At the same time, and to maintain vigilance at all levels, a reinforced health surveillance system will be put in place. Priority will be given to the wilayas concerned by the lifting of the sanitary containment measure, with an early detection strategy, particularly in terms of possible outbreaks or clusters that may appear at any time. This mechanism will be supported by targeted screening of all suspect cases and their contacts, which is essential to break the chain of transmission of COVID-19 in particular.

The resumption of economic, commercial and service activities will be conditioned by strict compliance with strict health prevention measures in workplaces and/or clusters. Also, the health prevention protocols dedicated to each activity will have to be scrupulously respected and applied by all operators, traders, customers and users.

The plan for the gradual resumption of economic, commercial and service activities will initially be deployed in two phases:

  • The first phase, which will begin on Sunday 7 June 2020.
  • The second phase, which will take effect from 14 June 2020.

The first phase concerns the resumption of the following activities:

  • The resumption of the activity of the sector of the BTPH, including the activities of subcontracting and the engineering offices (architecture, town planning, civil engineering), with the organization of the transport of the personnel, at the charge of the companies, which will be authorized to circulate on the whole national territory from 05h00 of the morning until 19h00 in the respect of the health and safety instructions enacted on the matter.
  • The resumption of work on building sites is subject to employers’ compliance with the availability of workers’ personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, helmets), to the planning of work in such a way as to respect physical distance and, where appropriate, to the organisation of the conditions of their accommodation and fast food, which must take account of the instructions on physical distance, hygiene and regular disinfection of the premises and places.
  • The use of means of transport for workers, machinery and site vehicles must meet the requirements of health protocols, particularly regular cleaning and daily disinfection.

The resumption of commercial and service activities will concern a first category, namely :

  • Ceramic craftsmen, plumbers, carpenters, painters.
  • Travel agencies.
  • Real estate agencies.
  • The sale of handicrafts.
  • Shoemaking and tailoring.
  • Maintenance and repair activities.
  • The sale of household and decorative articles.
  • Sale of sporting goods.
  • Trade in games and toys.
  • Bakeries and confectionery.
  • Ice-cream and drinks take-away sales.
  • Fast-food restaurants, only take-away sales.
  • Bedding and upholstery trade.
  • Trade in household appliances.
  • The sale of cosmetics and hygiene products.
  • Flower shops, nurseries and herbalists.
  • Photographic studios and plan printing and photocopying activities.
  • Showers, with the exception of hammams.
  • Maintenance, repair and washing of vehicles.
  • Art galleries.
  • The trade of musical instruments.
  • Antique dealers and flea markets.
  • Bookshops and stationery shops.
  • Hairdressing salons for men.
  • Livestock markets.

Also, a preventive system of accompaniment specific to the authorized activities, will have to be set up by the various operators and traders concerned, including in particular:

  • The obligation to wear a mask.
  • The posting of barrier and prevention measures on the premises.
  • The organisation of access and queues outside and inside the premises in such a way as to respect spacing and physical distance, while limiting the number of people present at the same place.
  • The installation inside the premises of a one-way traffic flow, legible floor markings and barriers to avoid crossing customers.
  • The installation of disinfection benches at the entrances.
  • The provision of a hydro-alcoholic solution for users and customers.
  • Daily cleaning and disinfection of the premises.
  • The disinfection of coins and banknotes.
  • Provide dedicated bins to collect masks, gloves, tissues or used medical equipment.

It is important to specify that all clients must wear a protective mask and that the managers and directors of the establishments will be held responsible for failure to comply with this obligation. However, the particularity of the activity of men’s hairdressing salons makes it necessary to organise this activity by appointment, to strictly respect the obligation of the hairdresser and the client to wear a mask, to limit access to the premises to a maximum of two clients and to frequently clean and disinfect the premises and the instruments and effects used.

Particular attention will be paid to weekly livestock markets, fruit and vegetable markets, as well as local souks and large sales areas, where all the health measures laid down must be rigorously applied by market officials, including the compulsory wearing of masks, the physical distance, disinfection of the premises and the provision of hydro-alcoholic gels, as well as the control and organisation of access, by the use of equipment, the installation of disinfection corridors and benches at the entrances and the marking out of users’ circulation circuits by means of tracing and indication signs. The control of the application of these measures by traders will be ensured by the authorised authorities.

This support system will be based on the national legal arsenal of prevention in terms of health and safety and occupational medicine, including the framework law No. 88-07 relating to health, safety and occupational medicine. Within this framework, the prevention bodies, particularly those under the supervision of the Ministry of Labour, such as the National Institute for the Prevention of Occupational Risks and the Body for the Prevention of Occupational Risks in the Building, Public Works and Hydraulics sector, will be called upon to contribute, in conjunction with the employers’ organizations, to the effect of integrating the health measures to be observed for the prevention and control of COVID-19 into the internal regulations of companies.

In addition to the labour inspection services, the inter-enterprise health and safety committees as well as the health and safety services of enterprises and the structures in charge of the internal security of enterprises (SIE) will be fully involved in this prevention mechanism and will exercise all their control attributions.

The social partners will also be strongly involved in this process. The wilaya commission responsible for coordinating sectoral action to prevent and combat the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, in conjunction with the health services, veterinary services, local authorities and security services, will ensure that all preventive measures are implemented. Failure to comply with these measures will result in the immediate closure of the trade or activity concerned and the strict application of the penalties provided for by the laws and regulations in force.

In addition, the plan for the gradual and progressive resumption of commercial and economic activities from 14 June 2020 in its second phase will concern other activities that will be identified and decided upon by the public authorities according to the evolution of the health situation and the behaviour of users. These include certain taxi transport activities as well as catering and drinking establishments, the organisation of which will be specified in due course.

Lastly, the Government recalls that the success of the economic recovery plan remains dependent on the ability of traders and operators to ensure the health security of their employees and customers, and reiterates its appeals to citizens to remain vigilant and to continue to observe, with rigour and a sense of responsibility, the measures of hygiene, social distancing and protection, which remain the only means of stemming the spread of this epidemic.

To that end, the Government continues to call for prudence and a spirit of individual and collective responsibility, which remain the best ramparts for overcoming this health crisis and its economic and social consequences. At the beginning of this deconfinement operation, which will be progressive, flexible and adapted to the national and local epidemiological situation, and which will be carried out in close collaboration with the health authority and the scientific committee, it is necessary to point out that the conduct of this operation poses more constraints than the containment.

Indeed, the main challenge that we must collectively face, public authorities, medical corps, traders, operators and citizens, is not to witness the results obtained in stabilizing the epidemiological situation being called into question at the cost of heavy human sacrifices and the efforts endured and deployed by the entire nation. In order not to lose these achievements, we must maintain our individual and collective civic commitment to overcome this health crisis and its multidimensional consequences. It is in these delicate moments that national solidarity must once again be shown among all the children of the fatherland. It is the duty of the Government to recall that measures to break out of the confinement must in no way mean a return to normal life, but on the contrary should encourage prudence and vigilance, because the threat of the epidemic remains omnipresent”.

For more information (in French), please consult the following link.

86% of Algerians are concerned about the spread of coronavirus

A survey published by Deloitte, the OpinionWay polling institute and the consulting agency 35°Nord, and entitled “African public opinion in the face of the COVID-19 crisis”, indicates that 86% of Algerians say they are worried about the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. The study reveals that 60% of Algerians surveyed believe that the country’s economic situation is likely to deteriorate in the coming months […]. 45% of Algerians surveyed believe that their professional activity will deteriorate in the coming months, a figure below the African average of 53%.

For more information (in French), please consult the following link.

Benbouzid reveals the number of patients treated with chloroquine

The Minister of Health, Population and Hospital Reform, Abderrahmane Benbouzid said yesterday Wednesday that the number of patients who have benefited from the therapeutic protocol based on Hydroxychloroquine, until June 2, 2020 is 18,545 patients, including 8,256 cases confirmed by PCR tests and 10,289 suspect cases on chest CT.

For more information (in French), please consult the following link.

Posthumous Orders of Merit awarded posthumously to members of the health sector

Head of State Abdelmadjid Tebboune awarded, on Thursday, orders of merit of Achir rank posthumously to the former president of the Iqra Association, Aicha Barki, and three members of the health sector, who died in the context of the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

For more information (in French), please visit the following link.