No flight suspensions or protest bans over coronavirus in Algeria


Algeria is not planning to ban public protests or suspend flights to Italy after the country’s first case of the coronavirus was identified in an Italian man, a health ministry official said.

Speaking at a news conference in Algiers, Djamel Fouar, director of prevention and control of communicable diseases, said authorities were monitoring everyone who had been in touch with the 61-year-old patient.

The man is from Milan in northern Italy, where an outbreak is centred. He travelled through Algiers to Ouargla in southern Algeria, a centre of the oil and gas industry.

Asked about possible suspension of flights or a ban on the mass weekly protests that have rocked Algeria for more than a year, Fouar said those measures were “not on the agenda”.

He said authorities would reinforce controls on aircraft arriving in Algeria, particularly from Italy.