On Saturday, official Algerian television outlets announced that Prime Minister Ayman Benabderrahmane had contracted COVID-19.
The prime minister, who had just formed his new government on Wednesday, will quarantine himself for seven days, but will continue performing his duties virtually, state TV said.
Benabderrahmane is considered the second high-ranking official to contract COVID-19 after President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, last October, who was later transferred to Germany on a two-month treatment trip.
In this context, the Algerian Presidency announced, on Saturday, the strict reactivation of preventive measures taken since the beginning of the pandemic, such as wearing masks, physical distancing, and generalizing the use of sterilizers, in addition to accelerating the pace of vaccination.
The presidency said in a statement that the news came during a meeting “Tebboune held with members of the Scientific Committee to monitor and follow up on the outbreak of the COVID-19, which was devoted to assessing and studying the epidemiological situation in the country.”
It was also decided, according to the statement, “to raise the capacity of the current hospitals from 7 to 15 percent, especially in major cities, such as Algiers, Oran, and Constantine.”
For weeks, Algeria has been witnessing a rise in daily COVID-19 cases, amid warnings from medical staff that hospitals will start saturating with patients, and the possibility of a return to partial or complete quarantine.
On Saturday, Algeria recorded 813 cases and 13 deaths in COVID-19, in addition to 528 cases of recovery, according to the Ministry of Health.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the total number of COVID-19 cases has reached 145,296, including 3,824 deaths, and 100,911 recoveries.