November 09 – 15, 2020 | Algeria Press Review

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Photo: John S. on Flickr

November 15, 2020

New prevention and protection measures enter into force Tuesday

The Prime Minister, Abdelaziz Djerad, has adopted additional provisions to strengthen prevention and protection measures applicable from Tuesday, November 17, within the framework of the management of the health crisis linked to the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a press release of the Prime Minister’s office said Sunday.

These measures are as follows:

In terms of partial confinement at home:

  • The measure of partial confinement at home from eight o’clock (20) until the next day at five (5) o’clock in the morning is applicable for the following thirty-two (32) wilayas: Adrar, Laghouat, oum El Bouaghi, Batna, Bejaia, Biskra, Blida, Bouira, Tebessa, Tlemcen, Tiaret, Tizi-Ouzou, Algiers, Jijel, Sétif, Guelma, Annaba, Constantine, Médéa, M’Sila, Ouargla, Oran, Illizi, Bordj Bou Arréridj, Boumerdes, Tindouf, Tissemsilt, El Oued, Khenchela, Souk Ahras Tipaza and Ain Temouchent.
  • Are not concerned by the measure of confinement at home the following sixteen (16) wilayas: Chlef, Béchar, Tamenghasset, Djelfa, Saïda, Skikda, Sidi Bel Abbes, Mostaganem, Mascara, El Bayadh, El Tarf, Mila, Ain Defla, Naâma, Ghardaia and Relizane. The walis can, after agreement of the competent authorities, take all measures required by the sanitary situation of each wilaya, in particular the introduction, modification or modulation of schedules, of the measure of partial or total targeted confinement at home of one or several communes, localities or districts where there are outbreaks of contamination.

These containment measures are applicable, as from Tuesday 17 November 2020, for a period of fifteen (15) days.

For commercial activities :

  • The extension of the measure to close, for a period of fifteen (15) days, the second-hand vehicle sales markets throughout the national territory.
  • The closure, for a period of fifteen (15) days, of the following activities: Omnisports halls and sports halls, places of pleasure, recreation, leisure and recreation areas and beaches, youth centres, cultural centres.
  • The closure is applicable in the thirty-two (32) wilayas concerned by the partial confinement at home, namely : Adrar, Laghouat, Oum El Bouaghi, Batna, Bejaia, Biskra, Blida, Bouira, Tebessa, Tlemcen, Tiaret, Tizi-Ouzou, Algiers, Jijel, Sétif, Annaba, Guelma, Constantine, Médéa, M’Sila, Ouargla, Oran, Illizi, Bordj Bou Arréridj, Boumerdes, Tindouf, Tissemsilt, El Oued, Khenchela, Souk Ahras, Tipaza and Ain Temouchent.
  • The limitation, for a period of fifteen (15) days, of the time of activities of certain businesses which will have to cease all activities after fifteen (15) hours.
  • The limitation of activity time is applicable in the thirty two (32) wilayas concerned by the partial confinement at home.
  • The activities concerned by the activity time limitation measure are : Trade in household appliances, trade in household and decorative articles, trade in bedding and furnishing fabrics, trade in sports articles, trade in games and toys, places where there is a concentration of shops, hairdressing salons for men and women, pastry and confectionery shops, etc.
  • Cafés, restaurants and fast food outlets limit their activities to take-away sales only and are also subject to the obligation to close from 3 p.m. onwards.
  • However, the walis will be able to close them immediately in the event of a breach of the measures enacted to combat the spread of COVID-19.

For the ordinary and weekly markets, a control mechanism will be set up by the competent departments to ensure compliance with the prevention and protection measures and the application of the penalties provided for by the regulations in force against offenders. Their immediate closure will be pronounced in the event of infringement of the measures enacted as part of the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

Furthermore, the government recalls the measure prohibiting, throughout the national territory, all types of gathering of persons and family reunification, particularly the celebration of marriages and circumcision and other events such as reunification in cemeteries, which are factors in the spread of the epidemic.

The government also wishes to recall the prohibition on general meetings and assemblies organised by certain institutions.

The walis are instructed to ensure that this prohibition is respected and to apply the regulatory sanctions against offenders and the owners of the places where these gatherings are held.

Finally, the Government recalls the worrying phase that the country is going through in terms of the evolution of the epidemiological situation and invites citizens to be more mobilized and disciplined in order to curb the spread of the epidemic and take up this major health challenge facing the nation, like all countries in the world”.

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

President Tebboune has completed his treatment for COVID-19

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, infected with the new coronavirus and hospitalized since late October in Germany, has completed his treatment and “is currently undergoing medical examinations,” the Algerian presidency announced Sunday in a statement. “The medical staff accompanying him assures that President Tebboune has completed the prescribed treatment protocol and is currently undergoing post-protocol medical examinations,” a lapidary statement said.

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

Algeria adopts new restrictions in the face of “worrying” situation

The authorities announced on Sunday the closure of sports halls, leisure areas and beaches. The curfew that was imposed from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. on part of the territory has been extended to 32 wilayas (prefectures) out of 48.

The government has also decided to close for 15 days, starting Tuesday, “omnisports halls, sports halls, places of recreation, leisure and recreation areas, beaches, youth centres, and cultural centres,” according to the Prime Minister’s office.

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

Outburst of COVID-19 in Algeria: The chilling observation of a specialist

Professor Rachid Belhadj, director of medical and paramedical activities at Mustapha University Hospital (Algiers), makes a chilling assessment of the epidemiological situation in this important establishment in the capital [EXTRACT].

Your message to the population…

The danger is real and constant and is becoming more and more of a threat to public health in Algeria. We call on the population once again to respect the barrier measures and protect the elderly who are most affected. Out of 17 people in intensive care, after 24 hours there are 17 deaths. This cycle is maintained and the virulence of the virus is increasingly lethal.

And to the public authorities?

The State must listen to the health professionals in the field. We must stop with the demagogic and bureaucratic discourse. We have to give the real figures, encourage the health workers and help them with perfect coordination between the different players: State, population and health workers. If one of these elements doesn’t work, there is a risk of over-saturation and professional burn-out because we are convinced that this situation will continue for several more months.

Is chloroquine still prescribed to patients today?

We are starting to give up chloroquine a little. Often when it concerns elderly people suffering from cardiovascular problems, and when ECGs are done there are contraindications to giving chloroquine. The novelty is that there is the introduction of what is called corticosteroid therapy and anticoagulants. The patients present respiratory problems. In this case, oxygen therapy is required. There are people who buy oxygen extractors, who allow themselves to treat their parents at home, but this is not the solution. An examination and medical follow-up are necessary. It is clear that we are facing a lack of specialised personnel, especially in resuscitation. The proof is that we are using our resident doctors in anaesthesia and resuscitation.

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

Penalties for not respecting the prevention measures against the virus in Annaba

A total of 2,173 arrests were recorded in the wilaya of Annaba, between 6 and 12 November, in the framework of the fight against the non-respect of barrier measures against COVID-19.

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

November 14, 2020

Closure of the El Djorf market in Algiers

According to information reported by the Arabic-language media El Biled, the market of El Djorf, located east of the capital, will be closed for a period of two weeks (15 days), as part of the fight against the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Algeria.

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

Lycée Descartes (Algiers): Concern and fear win over parents and teachers

Worry, fear but also anger. Teachers, staff and parents of pupils at the Cheikh Bouamama (ex-Descartes) school in Algiers all agree that there is “vagueness” and “chaos”.
[…] A fear shared by his colleague Saida, a primary school teacher, who does not understand this complacency in the face of such a spread of the disease. “We don’t communicate about Covid’s cases. There is a lack of clarity. I had to take a leave of absence to get away from this distressing situation, but very quickly cut short, out of conscience towards my pupils”.

[…] Classes will resume after a two-week period of confinement. This is what the parents of the Descartes school want today. “Fear is here”. said one mother. Some people wonder whether or not to send their children to school, especially since the school combines all three levels in the same class.

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

The Mustapha Pacha University Hospital operates normally

Contacted by the APS, the Director General of the CHU Mr. Bennana denied the information that the doors of the hospital had been closed on the pretext of overcrowding, stressing that “care is provided in a normal way 24 hours a day”.

As an example, he said that the hospital had received, for Saturday alone, 130 patients suspected of VIDOC-19 infection, 17 of whom were hospitalized and the 65 others were prescribed outpatient treatment because they had a “mild” form of the disease.

“The hospital also received 48 people for periodic medical check-ups, said the same official, adding that the hospital had 300 beds for patients with VIDOC-19 and 90 others in intensive care. »

Regarding cases admitted in other specialties, such as urgent cancer cases, mother and child, and child and maxillofacial surgery, Mr. Bennana said that their “care is provided in a normal way”.

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

November 13, 2020

Anti-COVID-19 Vaccine: Pfizer’s former Algerian VP speaks out on the vaccine

Mohand Sidi Saïd, the former Algerian vice-president of the Pfizer group, believes that this announcement is good news for humanity, knowing that the virus has crossed the threshold of 1 million victims since September. And that even if we still have to wait and see if the results will be confirmed, it is better than the state of despair in which we live, according to our source.

However, the child from Djurdjura warns the citizens and believes that we must remain vigilant and always respect barrier gestures and hygiene measures. Even if the vaccine may be available for the winter, the question remains as to whether the quantity will be sufficient, how it will be distributed and at what price,” the former vice-president told our source.

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

Coronavirus vaccine in Algeria: Benbouzid talks to Russia

Indeed, during yesterday’s meeting on Thursday 12 November between the Minister of Health, Benbouzid and the Russian ambassador to Algeria, the debate revolved around the Russian Sputnik-V vaccine against Coronavirus. The two parties discussed possible bilateral cooperation between Algeria and Russia in the health sector, according to our source, the Arabic-speaking site Ennahar Online.

In particular, the Russian ambassador, during his meeting with the Algerian health minister, highlighted the progress made in the clinical trials of the Russian Sputnik-V coronavirus vaccine. Moreover, that the latter has reached the third phase of trials with 92% efficacy, again according to our source

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

November 12, 2020

Algerian president, evacuated to Germany, reassures

Evacuated since October 28, 2020 in Cologne (Germany), on board a French medical plane, the Algerian president wanted to reassure his compatriots, anxious about his health, “constantly improving” according to official channels, and not yet built on the actual date of his return to the country.

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

School closures due to COVID-19: Health specialists say they are against it

Several education unions have called for a review of the decision to resume classes in schools in order, they say, to protect students and education personnel. Calls have been answered by health specialists.

For the President of the National Foundation for Health Promotion and Research Development, Professor Mustapha Khiati, these calls only destabilise schools, teachers and students.

In a statement to the Arabic-language daily Echourok, the professor said that “no country in the world has closed its schools, despite the rise in coronavirus contaminations, in some cases approaching 50,000 cases per day.

He said: “Let the students continue their schooling, they have nothing to do with the spread of the epidemic. In this sense, he points out that the cases of COVID-19 reported in schools are for the most part among teachers or staff. However, he recommends reinforcing preventive measures in schools instead of calling for their outright closure, especially since “the number of contaminations among students, especially primary school students, is quite low,” according to Prof. Mustapha Khiati.

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

Death of COVID-19 of the adviser to the Minister Delegate in charge of start-ups

Abdelhakim Bouaaza, adviser to the Minister Delegate in charge of start-ups Yacine Oualid died of COVID-19, it was learned from the ministry. As a reminder, several members of the government and various ministries are affected by the Coronavirus. This is the case of the Secretary of State to the Minister of Youth and Sports, in charge of elite sport, Salim Souakri who is cured and the Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security El Hachemi Djaaboub, currently in confinement.

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

November 11, 2020

Air Algerie: bad news for employees

The horizon is getting darker for Air Algérie. After nearly eight months of stoppage, following Algeria’s decision to close its borders, the national airline company is entering a period of strong financial turbulence. Due to a lack of revenue, its finances are under severe strain and the management of Air Algérie risks being unable to pay salaries if the crisis linked to COVID-19 continues.

The bad news was transmitted by the airline’s management to the National Union of Algerian Commercial Aircrew (SNPNCA) during a recent meeting on remuneration.

According to the union, the management of Air Algérie described a “chaotic” situation and asked the social partners for “concrete and exceptional solutions” to deal with the situation. The management of Air Algeria wants to revise the salaries of its workers downwards, which is almost the only measure in its hands, to cope with the drastic fall in its income due to the suspension of international and domestic air links.

At the beginning of June, Amine Andalousi, spokesman for the national airline company, estimated at 38 billion dinars the shortfall of Air Algerie due to the crisis linked to COVID-19. This amount would rise to 89 billion dinars by the end of 2020, if the company’s planes remain grounded.

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

Officials speak out on the acquisition of anti-COVID-19 vaccine

According to the director of supplies at the Pasteur Institute, Mrs Semaï, 100 million doses will be available by the end of this year, and Algeria will procure a dose of COVID-19 vaccine according to a process that is applied to all vaccines.

“As with any vaccine, it requires validation by the technical committee and then the ministry of health will have to decide on the quantities to be ordered according to the population to be vaccinated: will it be for everyone or will it be reserved for vulnerable populations? All these questions have to be decided by the ministry of health after consultation with the national vaccination committee,” she said.

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

November 10, 2020

Djamaâ el Djazaïr: Friday prayer suspended starting November 13, 2020

A multisectoral commission supervised by the Minister of Religious Affairs and Wakfs, Youcef Belmehdi has decided to suspend, from November 13, 2020, Friday prayers at the Grand Mosque of Algiers (Djamaâ el Djazaïr) which will resume once conditions are met, given the current sensitive pandemic situation (COVID-19), said Tuesday a statement of the ministry.

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

UNPE calls for the closure of schools

The Union Nationale des Parents d’Élèves (UNPE) has called on the authorities to close schools for 15 days due to the record increase of coronavirus cases (COVID-19) in recent days.

Since the start of the school year, several primary schools have closed in several wilayas, following the discovery of suspected cases of coronavirus. It should be noted that Algeria has today recorded 753 new cases, 301 recoveries and 15 deaths from coronavirus (COVID-19).

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

The wilaya of Algiers announces new measures

The wilaya of Algiers announced today, Friday, the closure of all parks, public entertainment and leisure spaces.

This new measure falls within the framework of the mechanism approved by the public authorities in terms of management of the health situation related to the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.

The communiqué of the wilaya affirmed that the hours of partial confinement at home will be adapted throughout the territory of the wilaya from eight o’clock in the evening to five o’clock in the morning.

The urban transport activity of public and private travellers will also be suspended during weekends throughout the wilaya.

She stressed that inter-wilaya public transport to and from the wilaya of Algiers remains prohibited and that any violation of this measure will expose the owner to sanctions.

At the same time, the authorities of the wilaya of Algiers have ordered the closure of second-hand vehicle sales markets in Algiers for a period of 15 days, and for weekly markets, a strict control programme will be implemented by the competent authorities to investigate the extent of the application of preventive measures with the immediate closure of any weekly market that the regulatory authorities prove to be in violation of these protocols.

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

Containment hardened to limit COVID-19

The Algerian government decided Sunday to tighten containment measures in most of the country because of a sharp rise in cases of contamination with the new coronavirus. Specifically, from Tuesday and for 15 days, the curfew will be extended from 19 hours to 4 hours GMT in 29 of the country’s 48 wilayas (prefectures).

The government has also decided to suspend public and private urban transport during weekends throughout the country. At the same time, according to AFP, public transport between prefectures remains prohibited. The second-hand car markets, which attract crowds, will also be closed from Monday for a fortnight.

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

Oil: New announcements on the COVID-19 vaccine bounce prices back up

At approximately 12:00 p.m. Brent’s barrel price was up 6.39% from Friday’s close to $41.97 for January delivery. In the U.S., WTI’s U.S. barrel for December was up 8.51% to finish at $40.19 per barrel.

This significant price rebound came after Pfizer and Biontech announced a vaccine against COVID-19 “90% effective” according to the first interim analysis of their Phase 3 trial, raising hopes that demand for black gold will pick up again.

As a reminder, the two laboratories Pfizer and Biontech affirmed this Friday that the vaccine against the coronavirus (COVID-19), developed by the two pharmaceutical companies is “90% effective”.

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

November 09, 2020

According to Prof. Mahyaoui, “only 20% of COVID-19 cases are admitted to hospitals”.

During his intervention, this Friday morning on the program “L’invité de la rédaction” of Channel 3 of the national radio, Prof. Riad Mahyaoui, member of the scientific committee, believes that the recrulescence is “slow, but more serious than the first wave of virus”, while sounding the alarm.

He returned to the state of play, particularly in hospitals, which are already struggling to meet the high demand. According to him, only 20% of those infected with the virus are admitted to hospitals, while 80% of those who test positive go home because of the overcrowding in health establishments.

The professor adds that “64 serious cases are in intensive care, which could cause huge problems if we don’t manage to counteract the situation”. In this sense, he calls for general mobilisation and individual and collective awareness. Moreover, he pointed the finger at wedding celebrations, family reunions and gatherings in the workplace, which he called for to be avoided at all costs. “This can be considered as participation in a crime,” added the member of the scientific committee.

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