Algeria launches its vaccination campaign against Covid

© KEYSTONE/AP/Fateh Guidoum

Algeria launched on Saturday its vaccination campaign against Covid-19 in Blida (center), epicenter of the pandemic in the country in March 2020, with the Russian vaccine Sputnik V, AFP noted.

The kickoff of this campaign was given in a polyclinic in this wilaya (prefecture), hard hit by the coronavirus epidemic, according to an AFP photographer.

The prefecture of Blida was the first outbreak of Covid-19 in Algeria, an Algerian national carrying the virus having returned from France for a wedding.

Vaccination must be accessible as a priority to medical staff, the elderly and patients with chronic diseases, before extending from Sunday to security and Civil Protection personnel, the education sector, imams , politicians and journalists.

Some 8,000 health centers are mobilized.

The first doses of the Sputnik V vaccine arrived in Algeria on Friday, but their quantity has not been specified. Algiers announced at the end of December that it had ordered 500,000 doses from its Russian ally.

Vaccination “progressive”

The vaccination campaign against the coronavirus will be done in a “progressive” way and will concern all the “non-exclusive” regions, promised the Minister of Health Abderahmane Benbouzid, quoted by the official APS agency.

Mr. Benbouzid said Algeria was trying to acquire sufficient quantities to vaccinate the 44 million inhabitants.

“The vaccine is the best means available, at present, to guard against the epidemic,” he pleaded.

Algiers is due to receive a first batch of the British AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine on Sunday.

The largest country in the Maghreb is also to receive batches of coronavirus vaccines from other countries, including China and India, according to Ammar Belhimmer, Minister of Communication and government spokesperson.

More than 100,000 cases

The number of contaminations exceeded 107,000 cases on Saturday, including 2,888 deaths.

In addition, the government decided on Saturday to lighten the containment measures by lifting the curfew in ten prefectures of the country. But it continues in nineteen of the 48 prefectures between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., including Blida, Algiers, Constantine, Mostaganem, Oran, Tlemcen and Sidi Bel Abbès.

Sports halls, places of pleasure and relaxation, recreational and leisure areas, beaches, youth centers and cultural centers, vehicle sales markets remain closed in these nineteen wilayas subject to curfew. second hand.

Algeria’s borders have been closed since March 17.

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