August 16 – 22, 2020 | Press Review Algeria

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Photo: John S. on Flickr

August 22, 2020: At the Anti-Cancer Center of the University Hospital Ibn-Badis in Constantine, 60% of the staff infected by COVID-19

Among them are doctors, nurses, cleaners and messengers.

At the entrance to the Cancer Centre of the Ibn-Badis UHC in Constantine, more than twenty men and women are waiting their turn, some for a consultation, others for an X-ray session. “It’s not like before. Since the emergence of this pandemic, there are no more people. I came at 8am, I only found three patients before me. Despite the lack of staff, we have not encountered any obstacles,” says Leila, a patient we met during our visit last Tuesday at the CAC. On the upper floor where the oncology department is located, closed following the infection of the majority of the staff at COVID-19, five women are waiting outside the front door to make an appointment.

“I need to make an appointment for my son who can’t make it. I’m relieved that the service can finally resume,” says Fatima, a 60-year-old woman I met on the premises.

The nurse in charge of this task explains: “The majority of our colleagues have been contaminated by the coronavirus and are all in confinement. After several operations to disinfect the premises, the service should be able to resume and patients will be able to access it from tomorrow, Sunday, by appointment. It is 9.30 a.m. and I have already booked about 100 appointments. Most of the patients came from the wilayas of Mila and Jijel.”

In addition, Prof. Bendjazia Aïcha, head of the radiotherapy oncology department at the Cancer Centre of the Ibn-Badis University Hospital in Constantine, did not deny the catastrophic situation in which his department has been in for several years.
She said: “The radiotherapy department at the Cancer Centre is in a difficult situation. More than 60% of the staff have been infected, including doctors, nurses, cleaners and mail carriers .”

We are facing enormous difficulties in carrying out our work. The remaining staff is making extraordinary efforts and continues to care for the patients despite the lack of means, the lack of equipment and accessories, not to mention the poor hospital hygiene conditions”.

The same official indicates that the service receives patients from several wilayas, namely “Mila, Skikda, Jilel, Guelma, Oum El-Baoughi, Sétif, Khenchela and Annaba.” For this reason, we decided to adopt, since the beginning of the pandemic, a work scheme to better manage the influx of patients.

We have therefore decided that consultations of former patients who have finished their treatment are done by telephone, consultations of new patients are done by appointment and consultations of patients undergoing treatment are done every day at the service level while limiting the number as a precaution.

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

22 August, 2020: Coronavirus in Algeria – Infections and deaths on the decline

The decline of the coronavirus epidemic continues in Algeria, with 401 new cases recorded in the last 24 hours, compared to 409 the day before, and the number of deaths is also falling, according to the Ministry of Health published on Saturday, August 22.

The largest number of new cases (48) was recorded in Bejaia, followed by Blida (40 new cases) and Algiers (35 new cases).

Algeria has 41068 officially registered positive cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the epidemic in the country at the end of February.

In addition to the drop in the number of new cases daily, the number of deaths deployed in one day has also declined, with six new deaths recorded in the last 24 hours (compared to 7 yesterday), bringing the total to 1424 since the beginning of the epidemic in Algeria.

In terms of recoveries, 287 people with COVID-19 have been declared cured in the last 24 hours, while 49 patients are in intensive care.

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

August 21, 2020: Closed borders, visa restrictions – The Algerians deprived of travel except for students

The new restrictions on international travel, like those introduced by the French and American authorities, continue to have an impact on Algerians, who have been deprived of travel since the closure of the borders and the halting of visas.

Indeed, the spread of the Coronavirus has completely disrupted the tourism sector and the Algerian finds himself deprived of travel after the closure of borders and visa restrictions. Algeria is classified red by most foreign countries such as France and is subject to several restrictions, especially in the issuance of visas.

The U.S. Consulate in Algeria announced on August 19, 2020, that the resumption of its services only concerns immigration visas, as well as the renewal of visas that expired before April 23. “To adhere to the health recommendations of the U.S. and Algerian governments to limit the spread of COVID-19; (…) we must prioritize services for U.S. citizens first, followed by urgent immigrant visa services,” the U.S. Embassy said in a statement.

The Consulate of France in Algeria has stated that travellers from Algeria will have to carry several documents before entering French soil. In particular, a waiver of international travel documents. A sworn statement is also required to prove that the traveller does not have any symptoms of the coronavirus and has not been in contact with any infected persons during the 14 days prior to departure. Also, children under 11 years of age are required to present a negative PCR test performed 72 before departure, reports the consulate.

It should also be remembered that if the above-mentioned documents are not presented during the trip, the airline or border guards may refuse the citizen’s boarding or entry into France. In case of the presence of symptoms of Coronavirus, the patient will be quarantined.

The Consulate of France in Algeria also announced that it resumed the issuance of study visas (type D) for the academic year 2020-2021.In a publication made public on the Facebook page of the French Consulate in Algeria on 18 August 2020, Algerian students who have received acceptance from a French university can now travel to France.

They are asked to go to the VFS Global centers where they will be able to pick up their passports starting August 19, 2020; “The Consulate General is beginning to issue D visas for studies. The first passports will be available at the VFS Global center; starting mid-day on Sunday or sent by mail according to the procedure you have chosen”; reports the Consulate.

In addition, students must also have the new international travel waiver. This is mandatory and will be published progressively on the website of the French Ministry of the Interior.

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

August 20, 2020: Border closure in Algeria – What about tourism ?

The borders are still closed, a summer season that starts very late, due to the measures imposed by the Government as a prevention against Coronavirus, facing this, tourism, at the national level, is going through a most catastrophic situation.

While on August 15, 2020, Algeria began its third phase of deconfinement, authorizing the opening of mosques, restaurants and beaches, tourism stakeholders are not 100% concerned, since the country’s borders remain closed until now. Moreover, “local tourism is not yet mature,” said Brahim Aflah Hadj-Nacer, tourism expert and director of a travel agency according to what was reported on August 20 by the media, Sputnik News.

It goes without saying that the Coronavirus pandemic has created a blank year for Algerian tourism operators. Although some summer visitors are back, this is not enough to meet the needs of all tourism professionals. This is because the sector brings together a multitude of actors, including some travel agencies that only offer stays abroad.

This is penalizing for the latter, since no date for the opening of the country’s borders has been communicated, and the summer season is only a few days away from its end. Moreover, the new school year is just around the corner.

“The situation is catastrophic and it will be difficult to turn things around,” said Nezha Senoussi, a senior executive in a travel agency specializing in international tourism and language travel.

“The government allowed us to resume as early as last June, but our activity depends on the opening of borders and the resumption of air links,” she regretted. She also said that “it is impossible to rely local tourism” because, according to her, “the quality of services at the national level is poor, the prices are very expensive and the offer is too limited”.

Tourism in Algeria : Conditions of recovery not adapted to everyone

While some tourism professionals are allowed to resume their activity; others are not. Indeed, the State has not authorized the opening of aquaparks or swimming pools.

According to our source, Ali Serraoui, owner of the tourist and leisure complex, Jardins des Zibans, located in Biskra, said he had to draw a line on the summer season 2020, following the refusal of public authorities, which is to maintain the ban on access to water recreation areas.

Serraoui revealed that his group has suffered immeasurable losses. “We have invested several tens of millions of euros in this aquapark, which is considered the most important in Africa. After the difficulties of the year 2019, caused by the effects of political instability, the Coronavirus has made things worst for us in 2020. At this rate, we’re going to end up shutting everything down,” he said.

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

August 20, 2020: Tax aid for people in difficulty… Here are the people concerned

Indeed, in order to make the lives of taxpayers more serene, the State has decided to spare them the payment of any form of tax. A decision known as a relief decision, undertaken with the aim of providing tax assistance to the above-mentioned taxpayers, affected by the health crisis that has affected Algeria.

Thus, all penalties, fines, taxes, and increases in the delay of declaration will be cancelled for some taxpayers. She announced the Directorate General of Taxes (DGI), according to Algeria Eco. An initiative which, according to the DGI, will ensure to the taxable persons a lightening of the modalities concerning the agreement of the fiscal agendas.

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

August 20, 2020: Mostaganem – Lockdown lifted for 306 nationals repatriated from Istanbul

These nationals were repatriated from Istanbul (Turkey) via Ahmed Benbella International Airport in Oran on 13 August this year.

They left on Wednesday after spending seven days in the “Zephir” and “El Mansour” hotels in the Mostaganese Corniche, Hayat Maameri said.

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

August 19, 2020: The drop in the number of cases of contamination continues in the balance sheet of 19 August.

The official count has now risen to 39 847 confirmed cases spread over the 48 wilayas and 1402 have died from the virus since the appearance of the pandemic on Algerian soil, said Djamel Fourar during the daily press briefing on the evolution of the pandemic in the COVID-19.

In addition, 318 new cures confirmed by analyses have been recorded, bringing the total number of patients cured of the Coronavirus in Algeria to 27,971 cases recovered, while 44 patients are under intensive care.

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

August 19, 2020: A solidarity caravan for the benefit of more than 4,000 families

As part of “the contribution of the CRA to support vulnerable families to cope with the current health crisis”, this aid is composed of a hundred tons of food and hygiene products, said the president of the CRA, Saida Benhabyles, to the press shortly before the kick-off of the caravan.

She said that this caravan is also part of “the support of the CRA to the efforts of the State to preserve the life and health of citizens and targets families living in shadowy regions and who need, in this context of pandemic, to be well immunized.

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

August 18, 2020: Batna – a home-based care initiative

In a statement to the APS, the same specialist, who is also a member of the health commission of the National People’s Assembly (APN), said that this operation aims to “reduce the pressure on health institutions for better care of patients suffering from COVID-19”.

The medical follow-up of cases affected by the coronavirus through field visits at home and telephone communications is among the main missions of this group of volunteers based at the scientific recreation centre of the city of Kechida in the capital of the wilaya, the same official said, also mentioning the training of volunteers to strengthen consultations and hospitalization services for this category.

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

August 18, 2020: Fight against COVID-19 – the CRA receives a financial donation from Suez Algeria

In the amount of 6.5 million DA, this donation will be used to purchase a scanner for the benefit of one of the country’s hospitals, the cost of which varies between 20 and 30 million DA, said to the press the president of the CRA, Saida Benhabyllés, at the signing ceremony of the donation.

While noting that this equipment will allow “the most disadvantaged in this wilaya to use the scanner, as they cannot afford its expensive cost in the private sector”, Ms. Benhabyllés stressed that the action of Suez Algeria “testifies to the credibility enjoyed by the CRA among national and foreign companies, many of which offer their aid to the CRA and use it transparently”.

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

August 17, 2020: Contamination still declining in Algeria

Algeria has recorded, in the last 24 hours, 442 new contaminations with COVID-19 (against 450 yesterday Sunday, 469 Saturday and 477 Friday), a figure always in decline, according to the last balance sheet published on Monday, August 17, by the Ministry of Health.

Algeria has had a total of 39,025 cases since the outbreak of the epidemic last February.

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

August 17, 2020: China grants patent for COVID-19 vaccine

The Chinese authorities have granted a patent for a recombinant adenovirus vaccine, called Ad5-nCoV, jointly developed by the Chinese biopharmaceutical company CanSino Biologics and a team led by Chen Wei, a military expert in infectious diseases.

“The agreement of this patent has confirmed the efficacy and safety of the vaccine, and convincingly demonstrated its intellectual property rights (IPR),” CanSino said in a statement yesterday Sunday.

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

August 16, 2020: Unilever Algeria continues its actions in the fight against coronavirus

Equipping hospitals with medical equipment, primarily ventilators, is a crucial element against the COVID-19. Respirators are the last resort for the most severely infected patients whose respiratory distress must be managed with these expensive devices, which hospitals may lack in times of crisis.

“We wish to contribute to the collective effort to stem the spread of COVID-19 and provide the necessary support to hospital staff to care for and treat those most severely affected by the virus,” said Mr. Hamid Boumesbah, Managing Director of Unilever Algeria. Unilever Algeria continues its actions in the fight against the coronavirus.

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