January 19 – 27, 2021 | Algeria Press Review

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Photo: John S. on Flickr

January 26, 2020

Controversy over the efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine

The COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine, developed by the British pharmaceutical laboratory AstraZeneca, is at the heart of the policy. The media have questioned the effectiveness of this vaccine for people over 65 years of age.

Indeed, two German media reported Friday evening that the German government doubted the effectiveness of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, developed with Oxford University, on people over 65.

According to them, the efficacy of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine is only 8% in adults over 65 years of age.

As a result, German officials are concerned that the European Medicines Agency (EMA), whose opinion is expected at the weekend, may not validate its use for older people.

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

Reopening of borders in Algeria: What the Transport Minister said

The Algerian Minister of Public Works and Acting Minister of Transport, Farouk Chiali has spoken once again on the reopening of borders and the resumption of international links. The member of the government said Monday, January 25, that these issues “are the exclusive responsibility of the President of the Republic.

Questioned by members of the commission of the APN on the opening of borders and the revival of international air and sea links, the acting Minister of Transport stressed that these issues were “the exclusive responsibility of the President of the Republic”. Thus, the thorny issue of the reopening of borders remains suspended to a political decision. It is not expected to happen soon. This decision is the exclusive responsibility of the high authorities of the state.

[…] Djamel Fourar has ruled out the possibility of reopening Algeria’s borders because of the risk of the spread of the new strain of COVID-19. “If we reopen the borders, we risk receiving the new variant coronavirus,” he warned.

This traumatic event has been experienced as one experiences a war or a strong earthquake during which the feeling of danger is great, with an inordinate fear of catching the disease, it has even become an obsession”, analyses the CRA psychologist.

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

COVID-19: EU could remain closed to Algerians

Algeria’s borders have been closed since March 2020, but those of the European Union have also been closed. Although no official date for the first opening has yet been set, it is known that the new criteria will be chosen by the European Union to draw up a list of countries deemed to be safe.

Algeria, which was among the countries on this list before last July, has been withdrawn from the list of countries considered safe by the European Union. In addition, a new update will be made to the criteria for choosing these countries, criteria in which Algeria, despite the relatively low rate of contamination, is not likely to find itself. Indeed, the European Commission issued yesterday a recommendation announcing the new criteria for the lifting of restrictions on “non-essential” travel to the EU, which will be granted to several third countries. Some of these criteria have been maintained, while others have been added to deal with the new challenges posed by the coronavirus.

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

January 24, 2020

Risks of importing variants of COVID-19: Prof. Mahyaoui reassures

As the deadline set by President Tebboune to launch the mass vaccination against COVID-19 approaches, Algeria has not yet set a date for the launch of this campaign, which is due to begin before the end of January.

However, the members of the Scientific Committee in charge of monitoring the coronavirus epidemic in Algeria are confident.

“This is the last week, we are not yet at the end of the month. Vaccination will start this January. It’s imminent,” said Prof. Riad Mahyaoui in a statement to TSA. The specialist assures that Algeria is ready to launch the vaccination campaign against COVID-19. “Logistically, human resources, health centres, staff training, the cold chain … everything is ready so that, as soon as the vaccine arrives, we start vaccination,” he said.

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

Mila: More than 50 centres reserved for vaccination against COVID-19

More than 50 vaccination centres against COVID-19 have been reserved in the wilaya of Mila in anticipation of the launch of the vaccination campaign for the categories concerned, we learned Sunday from the communication officer in charge of organizing the vaccination operation against the epidemic, Dr. Abderrahmane Ayadi.

The same official told APS that these centres are spread across 35 polyclinics, 6 local health establishments, 4 public hospitals and 4 occupational health services, in addition to the allocation of 5 mobile vaccination centres for the benefit of people living in the shadowy areas of Mila.

According to Dr Ayadi, each vaccination centre has a doctor, two nurses, in addition to an administrative officer who will ensure the organisation of the vaccination operation at his level. The same source also reported that a vaccine storage centre has also been set up with the necessary equipment to guarantee the conditions for storing vaccine doses, in addition to the equipment of an “alternative” storage centre in case of urgent need.

Regarding the training of people in charge of vaccination, this practitioner said that the teams in charge of this operation are being trained, as of last Thursday, through videoconferences by a specialized team from the Ministry of Health, Population and Hospital Reform, while waiting for other training sessions.

According to Dr Ayadi, the wilaya of Mila is “ready” in terms of material and human capacities which remain subject to renewal according to needs in order to “organise the vaccination campaign according to the programme established by the guardianship which will target in a first stage public and private health sector personnel, people over 65 years old and people with chronic diseases over 18 years old”.

The same source added, moreover, that those affected by the vaccination should “avoid paying attention to rumours and adhere to the vaccination campaign” because it will be carried out, he said, under the supervision of specialists with the aim of limiting the spread of the epidemic.

Dr. Ayadi also assured that after its launch, the vaccination programme against coronavirus will not affect the work of the health structures of the wilaya, particularly with regard to the vaccination programme for children.

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

January 24th, 2021

Algeria: The great vagueness of the vaccine against COVID-19

The Minister of Health, Abderrahmane Benbouzid, assured that Algeria would be on hand to launch the vaccination campaign against COVID-19 at the end of this month. However, one week before the end of the deadline set by the Head of State, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, no date has been communicated regarding the acquisition of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V.

Indeed, one week before the end of January, Algeria has still not received the first doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. For Professor Khiati, the communication around the vaccine has been characterised since its inception “by a relatively negative aspect”, and today we are witnessing “a real cacophony”, he believes. The health practitioner also deplores the statements of the members of the scientific committee which, according to him, are “often contradictory”.

Therefore, one week before the end of the deadline set by Abdelmadjid Tebboune, no date for the start of the vaccination was communicated. Even if, for Professor Khiati, “the stationary figures for COVID-19 contaminations reflect the existence of clusters. The virus is circulating even though the contaminations are smaller. The balance of contaminations remains at levels above 200 daily cases,” he explains in a statement to the TSA website.

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

January 23, 2021

COVID vaccine: recent statements by the scientific committee

A member of the scientific committee in charge of the monitoring and evolution of the COVID-19 epidemic in Algeria, Elias Rahal, said on Saturday, January 23, 2021, at the forum of the newspaper Echaab, that no specific date had been set for the reception of the vaccine against the Coronavirus in Algeria.

He explained that the authorities had spoken of the end of January for the acquisition of the coronavirus vaccine, and of its reception in Algeria, without providing a precise date. Another member of the committee, Ryad Mahyaoui, confirmed that the committee had studied several offers for the acquisition of the COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine, saying that the committee had based its choice of vaccine on important points such as efficacy, safety and the special environment for storing it.

In this context, he stressed that the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, the Chinese vaccine and the Anglo-Swedish AstraZeneca vaccine met these points, noting that they are classic and effective vaccines.

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

Strategy chosen for the acquisition of the vaccine against COVID-19: The authorities’ miscalculations

The strategy put in place by the authorities to acquire vaccines against COVID-19 has proven to be completely ineffective. They have gone in the wrong direction. Orders for vaccines came too late. What is left for Algeria? The Covax. This platform, set up by the UN system to help poor countries acquire the COVID vaccines at the lowest price and with equity, is already experiencing difficulties in its proper functioning. The government has decided to multiply contacts with the various partners and laboratories manufacturing the COVID-19 vaccine.

With one week to go before the end of January, Algeria is still waiting for doses of the Gam-COVID-vac (Sputnik V) vaccine against COVID-19, registered on 10 January by the National Agency for Pharmaceutical Products (ANPP). The Russian supplier Gamelya does not seem ready to deliver in the immediate future the 500,000 doses purchased by Algeria, 50,000 of which have been paid for under a contract signed between the Pasteur Institute of Algeria and the Gamelya centre for a total of 1.5 billion dinars, whereas the forecasts for the overall financial coverage of vaccination could amount to 20 billion dinars.

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

January 20, 2021

COVID-19: The first doses of the Anglo-Swedish vaccine are expected in February.

The first doses of the Anglo-Swedish vaccine, Oxford-Astra Zeneca, will arrive in Algeria next February, said Wednesday in Algiers, Professor Ryad Mahyaoui, member of the Scientific Committee in charge of monitoring the evolution of the Coronavirus pandemic, assuring that “few countries have started the vaccination of their populations”.

“There are three (03) laboratories positioned for Algeria, Russian, Chinese vaccines and lastly the Anglo-Swedish Oxford-Astra Zeneca. The totality of the order is not known, but this will be as the vaccines are acquired. This being the case, the first doses of the Anglo-Swedish vaccine are expected to arrive in February,” said Prof. Mahyaoui, speaking on Channel III of National Radio.

Regarding the first vaccine for which Algeria has opted, the Russian Sputnik V in this case, the host of the radio said he “hope to receive the first 500,000 doses ordered by Algeria by the end of this month.

“If this quantity is insufficient, initially, the kick-off of the vaccination campaign will be a relief for the population,” he considered, before defending the safety and efficacy features of this vaccine, currently ordered by 52 countries.

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

January 19, 2021

Coronavirus Algeria: Infections are on the decline again

The latest assessment of coronavirus in Algeria, published this Friday, January 19, reports more than 249 additional cases in 24 hours. A particularly low figure, compared to yesterday’s figure.

The decline of the COVID-19 epidemic has continued throughout the country for several weeks. The committee monitoring the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic announced today that the daily rate of coronavirus contaminations in Algeria reached 249 on 19 January.

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

Algiers Metro: no date has been set for the resumption of service

The date for the resumption of Algiers metro service at the stop since March 22, 2020 has not yet been set and the decision is up to the public authorities, said Tuesday in Algiers, the general manager of the Algiers Metro Company (EMA) Ali Arezki, assuring that a recovery plan has already been drawn up.

“The date for resumption of service has not yet been set. We are waiting for the decision of the public authorities (…) but in the meantime we have already drawn up a recovery plan,” he said on National Radio. This recovery plan has two parts, according to Ali Arezki. The first is the adaptation of the transport offer to ensure the transport of users in good health conditions, he explained.

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