ALGIERS- A total of 970 new confirmed cases of Coronavirus (Covid-19), 560 recoveries and 13 deaths have been reported over the last 24 hours in Algeria, the Ministry of Health said, Friday, in a statement.
In addition, 40 patients are currently in intensive care, added the same source.
The Ministry of Health recalled that the current epidemiological situation requires all citizens to be vigilant and abide by the rules of hygiene and physical distance, while insisting on respect for wearing a mask.
It is worth recalling that the Algerian government, following consultations with the Scientific Committee in charge of monitoring the evolution of the Coronavirus in the country, has given the green light for the reopening of schools in Algeria. Suspended due to the outbreak of coronavirus contamination, caused by the Omicron variant, classroom lessons will resume next Sunday.
The announcement of the lifting of the school closure measure was made this Thursday, February 3, 2022, by the Prime Minister’s services.
“The lifting of the school closure measure, from Sunday, February 6, 2022, in compliance with the health protocol validated by the scientific committee and the acceleration of the vaccination of national education personnel, ”we read in the government press release.
It should be remembered that the schools of the three levels of national education (primary, middle and secondary) have been closed for more than 15 days. Classes were suspended due to the unexpected increase in Omicron variant contamination.
In the same press release, the government reiterated its appeal to Algerians regarding the importance of anti-covid vaccination.
“The government reiterates its appeals to citizens to resort to vaccination, which remains the best means of prevention to protect our fellow citizens from the seriousness of the effects of this pandemic,” added the same source.
Faced with the growing number of Covid-19 infections, many sectors took preventive measures to curb with the surge in contaminations. The Ministry of Justice has stepped up measures to curb this rapid spread by freezing the judicial activities for 15 days. The presidents of the tribunals and courts, as well as the representatives of the public prosecutor’s office have received correspondence, specifying that the criminal and correctional hearings of the defendants who are not in pre-trial detention, as well as those of the social affairs, family and administrative sections, will be automatically ajourned to dates later than February 13.
For their part, the trials of the accused, who are remanded in custody, are not concerned by this ministerial note.
The ministry also ordered the suspension, for the same reasons, of the reception of citizens in the courthouses and the registration of new cases at the registry, with the exception of files stamped with the seal of urgency.
In a related context, the Culture Ministry announced that museums, cinemas, libraries and other sites would be closed to the public ‘until the health situation improves’.
Health minister called, for his part, Algerians to get vaccinated and save hospitals from collapse as the nation faces a rebound of COVID-19 infections.
He encouraged major institutions including universities to encourage staff to get vaccinated, and organise vaccination drives for employees.
“I urge you to get vaccinated and break the chain of infections which risk bringing our health institutions to their knees,” health minister Abderahmane Benbouzid said at a press conference in the capital, Algiers.
“For now, the hospital staff are managing. The question is, for how long can they hold on?”
Algeria is battling infections from both the delta variant and the highly contagious omicron variant, which now accounts for 60% of COVID-19 infections.
Omicron is less likely to cause severe illness than the previous delta variant, according to studies. Omicron spreads even more easily than other coronavirus strains, and has already become dominant in many countries. It also more easily infects those who have been vaccinated or had previously been infected by prior versions of the virus.
The inoculation rate in Algeria remains low. Less than a quarter of the population has had even one vaccine dose despite the government’s robust vaccination campaign in state media and on social networks.
Algeria has a stock of vaccines that can largely ensure coverage of vaccination needs for two years, the minister said. Overall, only 13% of Algeria’s 45 million inhabitants, have been inoculated, the minister said. Of eligible adults, only 29% have received two vaccine doses, he said.
In December, Algeria started requiring a vaccine passport to enter many public venues, seeking to overcome vaccine hesitancy that has left millions of vaccines unused.
The pass is also required for anyone entering or leaving Algeria, as well as for entering sports facilities, cinemas, theaters, museums, town halls and other sites like hammams — bath houses that are popular across the region.