Dr. Merabet on Covid-19 variant: “Slackening risks bringing us back to zero”!

Algeria - "The new variant of the Coronavirus worries health professionals who fear the worst," warned, this Saturday, Doctor Lyes Merabet, the President of the National Union of Public Health Practitioners (SNPSP).


Algeria – “The new variant of the Coronavirus worries health professionals who fear the worst,” warned, this Saturday, Doctor Lyes Merabet, the President of the National Union of Public Health Practitioners (SNPSP).

The detection of two new cases of the British variant of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) is “worrying”, as the new strain exceeds the original version by more than 50%, according to scientific studies.

“A relaxation of containment risks bringing us back to Zero!”, Specified the specialist.

Faced with this situation which is likely to “worsen”, he added that the detection of the two cases as announced, Thursday evening, by the Pasteur Institute requires the “acceleration” of epidemiological investigations to isolate the suspected cases.

Also, it is a question, he suggested, of “imposing greater rigor”, through strict compliance with the health protocol put in place by the health authorities.

That’s not all, Dr. Merabet called for effective “relaunch” of awareness campaigns, urging citizens to respect the preventive measures introduced since the onset of this viral disease.

Finally, to summarize, the President of the (SNPSP), indicated that professionals fear the rapid spread of the virus, which could lead to real “pressure” on hospitals already under pressure….

For his part, member of the Scientific Commission for monitoring the evolution of the epidemic of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), Dr. Mohamed Bekkat Berkani, underlined, today, Saturday, Feb 27th, 2021, that not a single case of the new British variant of Covid-19 has been detected so far in people who have received the vaccine against the classic version of the Coronavirus.

Speaking to Ennahar TV, the same official explained that the anti-Covid-19 vaccines developed to date are effective against new strains of virus, which are characterized by the speed of spread. In this regard, he added that these variants have the same symptoms as the first strain of Coronavirus.

To this end, he ruled out the possibility to resort to the total lockdown to ward off the spread of the new British variant of the Coronavirus registered in Algeria.

“No total lockdown is looming large in the advent of the detection of the first two cases of the British variant of the coronavirus as declared, on Thursday, by Algeria’s research centre Pasteur Institute,” the member of the Scientific Committee stated.

On another level, Dr. Mohamed Bekkat Berkani unveiled that Algeria has decided to close all land borders and suspend non-cargo international air and maritime travel, including repatriation flights from 1st till 30 March of the current year.

The national carrier Air Algérie has decided to suspend all the international flights as from March 1st. Previously, Air Algerie had decided to reduce or suspend flights to and from several international destinations namely: Turkey, Poland and Germany.

As such, the Consulate General of Algeria in Frankfurt said, Tuesday, February 23, that the special repatriation flights of Air Algerie binding Germany to Algeria “continue to be suspended until March 31, 2021”.

For its part, the Polish Embassy in Algeria said, in a statement dated Tuesday February 23; “That due to the Covid-19 threat, Algeria is canceling all flights to and from the country; including repatriation ones”; specifying, in this regard, that “the last flight of this type will take place on February 28”.

On the other hand, the Turkish Embassy in Algeria announced the suspension of flights to Algeria as part of the anti-Covid-19 measures; especially in prevention against variants.

“As part of the measures taken by the Algerian authorities against the new variant of Covid-19; all flights from abroad to Algeria between March 1-31, 2021 have been canceled “; reported the Turkish diplomatic representation in Algeria. The same source clarified that “Turkish Airlines flights from Turkey to Algeria will be suspended.”

Algeria has recorded its first two cases of the British variant of the coronavirus, Algeria’s research centre Pasteur Institute said on Thursday.

Two people, a healthcare employee working at a hospital in Algiers and a France-based Algerian retruning home, have tested positive for the variant, added the statement.

“The Pasteur Institute of Algeria detected, on February 19, 2021, two British variants carrying the N501Y and D614G mutations with deletion of positions 69-79, which are genetic signatures of this variant (Detected for the first time on September 20, 2020 in the city of Kent in Great Britain, “said the Institute on its Facebook page.

The statement added that “these two mutant strains were detected in a healthcare employee working at the EHS of Psychiatry in Cheraga (currently isolated) and an immigrant coming from France for his father’s burial”.

“On the epidemiological level, Algeria has recorded in recent weeks a certain stability in the number of cases of contamination by the Covid-19 coronavirus”, noted the Institute, recalling that “the great attention paid to distancing measures and wearing a protective mask as part of the health protocol are the best guarantees of maintaining the stability currently recorded “.


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