November 02 – 08, 2020 | Algeria Press Review

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Photo: John S. sur Flickr

November 08, 2020

COVID-19 in Algeria: Here are the newest government’s main decisions

To contain the second wave of the coronavirus that Algeria is going through, the country’s authorities decided, this Sunday, November 8, to introduce new restrictive measures. These mainly concern the readjustment of the partial confinement schedules for the wilayas concerned, as well as the postponement of the start of the university year in Algeria.

Thus, the Algerian government has decided new measures to deal with the new wave of the coronavirus that is hitting the country. In a statement made public on Sunday, the Prime Minister’s office said that after consultation with the Scientific Committee for monitoring the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic and the health authority, the head of government, Abdelaziz Djerad, has decided on the following measures:

Enlargement of the list of wilayas concerned by the partial containment and readjustment of schedules

Algeria has decided to readjust the hours of partial confinement at home from 8 p.m. until the next day at 5 a.m. for the wilayas concerned by this measure. And this for a period of 15 days, starting on November 10.

The Algerian government has also decided to extend the list of wilayas concerned by partial confinement. The wilayas newly concerned are “Adrar, Ilizi, Tindouf, Tissemsilt, El Oued, Guelma, Khenchela, Tipaza and Ain Temouchent,” the statement said. The twenty wilayas that were already under night curfew are Batna, Bejaïa, Blida, Tlemcen, Tizi Ouzou, Algiers, Jijel, Sétif, Annaba, Constantine, Oran, Bouira, Boumerdes, M’Sila, Ouargla, Médéa, Bordj Bou Arreridj, Tébessa, Tiaret and Biskra.

Closure of vehicle sales markets in Algeria and suspension of urban transport during weekends

Furthermore, the country’s high authorities have decided to suspend once again the urban passenger transport activity (public and private) during weekends, at the level of the 48 Algerian wilayas. The government recalled that “the collective transport of people inter-wilayas remains prohibited and that any violator of this measure will be subject to the regulatory penalties provided for.

Among other measures decided, “the closure, for a period of fifteen (15) days from November 9, 2020, markets for the sale of second-hand vehicles throughout the national territory,” said the press release of the Prime Minister. For the weekly markets, the competent services will carry out “a rigorous control at these places in order to ensure the application of preventive measures, the obligatory wearing of masks as well as physical distancing”, adds the same source.

Postponement of the start of the academic year and vocational training

Another important decision taken on Sunday 8 November was the postponement of the start of the university and vocational training academic year. Indeed, students will not be able to join the university benches before 15 December 2020, the date chosen for the next academic year in Algeria.

Regarding students in the primary, middle and secondary cycles who have already returned to school, the Algerian government has decided to establish “a continuous, rigorous and unannounced control by inspectors of the national education corps at the level of all primary, middle and secondary schools, public and private, to ensure compliance with the health protocol put in place and organizational measures enacted by the public authorities.

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

November 07, 2020

The PCR test becomes compulsory for all Algerians before they travel to France.

“As of November 11, travellers from Algeria to France, whatever their nationality or status, will have to present a negative virological screening test or biological examination before boarding,” said Saturday the Consulate General of France in Algiers in a statement.

The test must be “carried out less than 72 hours before the flight or crossing”, the same source said.

Indeed, currently the test is mandatory either on departure from Algeria or on arrival in France, but from now on, travellers authorized to travel to France will have to have the negative test at COVID-19 before boarding.

Furthermore, it is recalled that “the external borders of the Schengen Area are closed, except for exemptions and derogations”.

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

November 06, 2020

First Friday prayer in Algeria after 7 months of Mosques closure

After more than seven months of waiting, Algerians were able to perform Friday prayers in mosques today, November 6. Inaugurated a week ago, the Great Mosque of Algiers welcomed a large number of faithful. The images broadcast by television channels show the respect for social distancing inside the gigantic prayer hall which can hold 120,000 worshippers. However, outside this was not the case.

The other mosques in the country have reopened their doors to the faithful and the prayer took place normally, in a context marked by the outbreak of COVID-19 in Algeria which yesterday Thursday crossed the bar of 600 daily cases, and that of 2,000 deaths.

The mosques had been completely closed on March 17 to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, five days after the death of the first Algerian COVID-19. On August 15, Algeria decided to gradually reopen its mosques with more than 1,000 seats, but the faithful could not perform Friday prayers there. On 14 October, President Tebboune decided to fully reopen the mosques from Friday 6 November.

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

Closure of schools because of COVID-19 in Algeria: Berkani’s explanations

Dr Bekkat Berkani says that the closure of schools and educational institutions because of COVID-19 was very unlikely, and that citizens will have to react before the disaster.

Indeed, as far as the educational aspect is concerned, and in the light of the rumours that are circulating, Dr Bekkat Berkani stressed in his interview with Radio de Sétif, that the closure of schools and educational institutions in Algeria because of COVID-19 is very unlikely, according to our source the Elbilad site.

Nevertheless, the member of the Scientific Committee for the follow-up of the Corona epidemic said that it would still be time to sound the alarm after having recorded 642 cases affected by COVID-19. More specifically, in the most affected and overpopulated wilayas which are experiencing a depletion within the health services, still according to our source the Arabic-speaking site Elbilad.

Furthermore, he states that the possibility of imposing total confinement in Algeria was to be excluded; and that the decision is, after all, up to the walis. He believes, however, that a community response is needed before the disaster, because of the evolution of the coronavirus epidemic. For, he adds, even if Algeria is still isolated from the world, the risk remains present in these times of seasonal flu.

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

November 04, 2020

Jijel: Two decrees to curb the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic

The services of the wilaya of Jijel have promulgated two decrees on the further suspension of marriage certificates and banning the use of tables inside or outside cafes, restaurants, pastries and fast food which will have to be satisfied with the sale of takeaway products as part of preventive measures against COVID-19, it was learned Wednesday at the wilaya.

The two decrees, it was said, come into force as from Wednesday for a period of 15 days and aim to contain the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic after the increase in cases of infection recently recorded in the wilaya.
In addition to the suspension of the establishment of marriage certificates in all communes, the first order reaffirms the prohibition of all family celebrations, including weddings and circumcisions, as well as tents for funeral gatherings in the exclusive presence of family members, he said.

The second decree also reaffirms the obligation for owners and workers in restaurants, cafés, pastry shops and fast food outlets to wear bibs, to limit themselves to operating 50% of the reception capacity of their premises and to make an alcoholic disinfectant available to customers.

Cases of infection by COVID-19 in the wilaya of Jijel have recently evolved with an upward curve of 100 new cases recorded in 48 hours (70 on Monday and 32 on Tuesday), according to the national monitoring committee of the pandemic of the new coronavirus.
This situation has led the Mohamed Seddik Benyahia Hospital of Jijel to assign the cancer unit (60 beds) to the management of patients affected by COVID-19.

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

November 03, 2020

Algeria passes again above the 400 cases per day

The number of new cases of coronavirus COVID-19 has risen sharply in the last 24 hours in Algeria, to exceed 400 cases, with 405 new infections recorded since yesterday Monday, according to the official assessment of Tuesday, November 3.
In 24 hours, the increase is 103 cases, whereas usually the evolution is much less important.
Yesterday Monday, August 2, 302 new cases had been recorded in Algeria against 330 new cases Sunday, 291 cases Saturday, 319 new cases Friday, 306 cases Thursday, 320 cases Wednesday, 287 cases last Tuesday.
The daily toll recorded in the last 24 hours is the highest since last August 22nd when the epidemic was in decreasing phase.
A total of 58,979 people have been officially infected with the new COVID-19 coronavirus since the outbreak of the epidemic last February in Algeria, among whom 1987 lost their lives, seven of them in the last 24 hours.
While 194 people have been declared cured of the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, 43 COVID-19 patients are in intensive care.
For more information, please consult (in French) the following link.

COVID-19 at El Harrach Prison: Former ministers Ould Abbes and Ghazi contaminated

Five inmates of the El Harrach prison in Algiers including two former ministers Djamel Ould Abbes and Mohamed Ghazi have been contaminated by the coronavirus (COVID-19). According to the daily Le Soir d’Algérie of Tuesday, November 3, 2020, the identity of the other three people was still unknown yesterday. The five inmates contaminated by the virus are confined to the infirmary of El-Harrach penitentiary.
The contamination of Djamel Ould Abbes was confirmed by his lawyer Farouk Ksentini, in a statement to the daily Le Soir d’Algérie on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
“We have indeed learned the bad news. It does not surprise me too much, because prisons are closed spaces that promote a rapid circulation of the virus, especially at a time when there is a sharp increase in cases almost everywhere. This is also one of the reasons why we have repeatedly called for the provisional release of prisoners in general. I have twice called for the provisional release of my client who, I remind you, is 87 years old. Being chronically ill, he had a very strong fear of being affected, unfortunately, it happened”, detailed Me Ksentini to the same source.

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

Presidency of the Republic: Abdelmadjid Tebboune affected by COVID-19

The Presidency of the Republic gave this Tuesday, November 3, news on the state of health of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, hospitalized since Wednesday, October 28, 2020 in a hospital in Germany where he is undergoing thorough medical examinations.
According to a statement by the Presidency on Facebook, the head of state is suffering from COVID-19. “The President of the Republic, Mr. Abdelmadjid Tebboune, continues to be treated in a German hospital after being infected with COVID-19,” the statement said.
The same source adds that “the medical staff reassures that the president is responding to treatment and his state of health is gradually improving in accordance with the requirements of the health protocol. »

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

November 02, 2020

COVID-19: a vaccine race with high financial stakes

We reproduce here an excellent analysis on the financial stakes of the race for the anti-COVID 19 vaccine by Professor Jérôme Caby published on the website “The Conversation”.

The race for the vaccine is raging around the world and two American companies, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer and the biotechnology company Moderna, have announced that they could be ready by the end of November 2020.

The process of developing a vaccine is long and uncertain. Many pharmaceutical companies have embarked on this path using a variety of techniques. Several governments such as the US, EU and Japan have placed large pre-orders both to ensure the availability of large quantities of doses – once proven effective – and to fund accelerated development and production.

While large pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZeneca, Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Johnson & Johnson and public institutions in China and Russia have logically positioned themselves in the race, some vaccines are being developed by smaller biotech startup-like companies, alone or in collaboration with public institutions such as university research centres or traditional pharmaceutical companies.

We have focused our attention on listed biotech companies with vaccines in phase 2 or 3 clinical trials to assess their current financial situation and analysts’ forecasts. In this respect, we have selected: Moderna (United States, in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases), Novavax (United States), BioNTech (Germany, in collaboration with Pfizer) CanSino Biologics (China, in collaboration with the Military School of Medical Sciences), Inovio Pharmaceuticals (United States, the only one in phase 2, the others being in phase 3).

Exponential growth: Even though these companies existed before the pandemic and were developing other pharmaceutical activities, analysts are predicting impressive growth for the coming years and COVID-19 has offered them an exceptional opportunity. For all of them, their activity was in its infancy before they started the race with a very reduced turnover. We also note that the two that seem closest to success (Moderna and BioNTech) and the three that have received the support of the American government (the two previous ones plus Novavax) are also the ones with the most sustained growth forecasts.

Profits forecasts that are exploding : While all these companies were losing money before starting their search for a vaccine, their earnings forecasts are much more optimistic. They are expected to be profitable in 2020 for Novavax, in 2021 for Moderna, BioN Tech and CanSino and only in 2023 for Inovio (but with a vaccine only in phase 2 today, which shows that it is indeed a race).

Stock prices at a record high: Logically, the stock prices of these companies have incorporated the forecasts and are characterised by extremely high increases, particularly in relation to the S&P 500 index. One could certainly consider that this good fortune is ill-advised in view of the current health situation and the economic difficulties generalised to most countries. Nevertheless, it is thanks to these prospects of gain that research can develop with such intensity throughout the world and that we can foresee a favourable and relatively rapid outcome to the crisis that is hitting us.

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