The Algerian Ministry of Health confirmed on Tuesday the first case of coronavirus in the country, an Italian man who arrived on February 17.
The Minister of Health Health Shamsuddin Shitor said on state TV that the authorities were able to detect this case due to the vigilance system adopted at all land, air and maritime entry points to the country.
The Italian man is currently quarantined according to international standards, Shitor added.
On Wednesday, Algerian health officials said that banning public protests was “not on the agenda” despite the coronavirus case.
Thousands of Algerians have been protesting against the government since February 22 last year, in response to president Abdelaziz Bouteflika announcing he intended a run for a fifth term - despite being debilitated by a 2013 stroke.
Second coronavirus case in Africa, spread from Italy
The announcement brings the total cases announced in Africa to two, after Egypt announced one case on February 15.
Unlike Egypt, the case in Algeria came from Italy, where four people have died from the virus. Italy, which has the highest number of cases in Europe, appears to be a place from where the virus is spreading, with Croatia confirming a young man returning from the country as its first case.
Countries including Saudi Arabia have advised against travel to Italy. Passengers who arrived by bus in Lyon in southeast France Monday from Milan in Italy were kept onboard after the driver was hospitalized with symptoms similar to those caused by the new coronavirus, security sources said.
Italian authorities announced the cancellation of the Venice carnival on Sunday over coronavirus concerns.
- With Agencies.