Health, Africa, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Algeria confirms first death from coronavirus

24 people in North African country contract COVID-19

Ali H. M. Abo Rezeg,Mahmoud Mohamed Barakat   | 12.03.2020
Algeria confirms first death from coronavirus

ALGIERS, Algeria 

 The Algerian Health Ministry on Thursday confirmed the country’s first death from the coronavirus. 

"Five new infection cases with the novel coronavirus have been recorded, and one of the infected people has died," the ministry said. 

The total number of confirmed cases in the country has climbed to 24. 

Meanwhile, Algerian President Abdel-Majid Tebboun ordered an immediate suspension of schools and universities to curb the outbreak.

According to a statement by the Algerian presidency, the primary, middle and secondary schools will remain closed until April 5. 

Most of the people that contracted the COVID-19 belong to a single family infected by a relative from France who visited them last month in the Blida province, according to the ministry.

On Feb. 25, Algeria announced its first coronavirus case of an Italian citizen who was later sent back to the home country.

The global death toll from the virus known has surpassed 4,600, with over 124,500 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization, which declared the coronavirus a global pandemic.

The virus originated in China’s Wuhan city last December and it has reached more than 100 countries so far.

As part of efforts to contain the outbreak, many governments closed borders and suspended land and air travel with the worst-hit countries.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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