Algeria to close schools, universities after first coronavirus death

Whatapp News

Photo taken on Dec. 19, 2019, shows Ahmed Gaid Salah attending the presidential inauguration ceremony for Abdelmadjid Tebboune in Algiers, Algeria. Algerian army chief Ahmed Gaid Salah died of a heart attack on Monday, a statement of the presidency was quoted as saying by the APS news agency

Algiers – Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has ordered and universities to close until April 5 to slow the spread of the , state media reported on Thursday.

This follows the country’s first registered death from the .

Algeria has confirmed 24 cases of , mostly among members of a single family in the city of Blida, south of the capital.

The government has already ordered a range of measures to prevent the spread of .

These include a ban on spectators at football games and the suspension of all cultural, social and political gatherings.

The authorities have not clarified, however, whether the ban extends to weekly mass protests that have convulsed Algeria for more than a year, thrusting its long-established political class into crisis.

Political turmoil and economic troubles also threaten hydrocarbon producer Algeria as it wrestles with the coronavirus.

A crash in global oil prices has compounded years of declining energy revenues that have drained half of Algeria’s state currency reserves.