Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Algeria imposes 1900-0700 curfew in an additional four provinces from April 2; Air Algerie flights suspended indefinitely.

This alert affects Algeria

This alert began 02 Apr 2020 01:46 GMT and is scheduled to expire 20 Apr 2020 03:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Preventive restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least April 19
  • Impact: Business and transport disruptions, heightened security

Summary
Algerian authorities have extended the country's existing curfew to encompass an additional four provinces as part of efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The 1900-0700 curfew will go into effect in Bejaia, Ain Defla, Mostaganem, and Bordj Bou Arreridj provinces starting April 2 and will remain in force through at least April 19 . Additionally, on April 1, Air Algerie (AH) extended the suspension of all its passenger flights until further notice; the carrier had initially suspended operations through April 5.

Previously enacted restrictions in Algeria include:

  • 1900-0700 curfew in Algiers, Batna, Boumerdes, Constantine, El Oued, Tizi Ouzou, Medea, Oran, Tipaza, Setif provinces through April 19;
  • Ban on any public gatherings of more than two people, with the exception of people working on curbing the spread of COVID-19 through April 19;
  • Complete lockdown in Blida Province, March 23, which is the epicenter of the country's disease outbreak, for a period of 10 days. All traffic to and from the province is shut down. Residents can only travel outside the province with authorization from local authorities; residents are also able to receive food and other essential goods via delivery;
  • Suspension of all public transportation services, including ride-sharing services;
  • Suspension of all domestic flights within Algeria through April 4;
  • Closure of all cafes, restaurants, and shopping centers, except grocery stores, pharmacies, and clinics;
  • Social distancing rules, where individuals should remain 1 meter (3 feet) apart when interacting;
  • Closure of all public and private schools and universities through April 19;
  • Suspension of land, air, and sea connections until further notice; the closure will not apply to ground, air, or sea freight transport.


Residents, with the exception of the people in Blida Province, are allowed to perform certain basic tasks, such as shopping for food or other goods from essential businesses, traveling to/from their places of employment, seeking medical assistance, or engaging in individual fitness activities outdoors. Significant transport and business disruptions are likely.

Authorities have tasked the nation's various police departments with enforcing the new measures; violators could face fines or criminal penalties. Officials could amend the order on short notice, depending on the evolution of disease activity in the coming days and weeks.

Background and Analysis
Algeria's preventive measures correspond with similar actions other governments are taking globally in response to the spread of COVID-19, a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all business appointments and travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
World Health Organisation (WHO): www.who.int

Air Algerie: airalgerie.dz