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Algeria Health Minister on COVID-19: We Need China’s Experience, but Don’t Have its Capabilities

Algeria Health Minister on COVID-19: We Need China’s Experience, but Don’t Have its Capabilities

Thursday, 2 April, 2020 - 08:45
Protective face masks and hand cleaning gel are displayed for sale in Algiers (File photo: Reuters)

Algeria needs the experience of China in countering the COVID-19 disease, but it doesn’t have its capabilities, Health Minister Abderrahmane Benbouzid has said.

During a parliamentary briefing on the response to the coronavirus outbreak, Benbouzid said Wednesday that the health sector is exerting all efforts to confront the pandemic.

He noted that the ministry has recorded 44 deaths from the virus, but this does not mean the health system has failed.

He stated that China managed to control the virus and reduce the number of deaths and cases, two months after it first spread in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December.

The minister stressed that the home quarantine remains the best solution to limit the spread of the COVID-19

Benbouzid indicated that only 20 percent of those who contract the virus need ventilators, and about five percent of those infected are in Intensive Care Units.

He announced that Algeria will receive large quantities of medical masks from China between April 4 and 5, reiterating that the use of Chloroquine as a protocol for treating the coronavirus must only be done in public hospitals under strict medical supervision.

Algerian doctors expect the number of persons infected with the coronavirus to reach 1,000 by the beginning of next week.

Meanwhile, Minister of Industry and Mines Ferhat Ait Ali told state-owned Algeria Press Service (APS) that Getex Textile Group offered 15 samples of different tissues to locally produce protective masks.

The samples were tested in a private laboratory linked to the University of Boumerdes and in a military lab. The tests showed that three models are compatible with health standards.

Ait Ali explained that these masks are reusable, without specifying the quantity that will be produced.

Algeria has reported 716 coronavirus infections, including 37 recovered cases.

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