Algeria reported nine new confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing to 17 the total number of people tested positive for the virus, the health ministry said.
The cases include 16 from the same family in Blida province, some 30 km (20 miles) south of the capital Algiers, and an Italian man.
The family last month hosted a man and his daughter based in France who were tested positive for coronavirus after flying back to France.
The authorities have since then launched an investigation to identify people with whom the two individuals have met during their stay in Algeria.
The government also put medical staff at hospitals, mainly in Blida and nearby towns, on alert to cope with new cases.
“Mobilization of health teams remains at its highest level,” the health ministry said in a statement.
Coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, continued to spread across the Middle East and North Africa with over 1,600 infected across the region.
The coronavirus first started spreading from Wuhan, China, earlier this year and has since infected nearly 90,000 people, with over 3,000 dead. The Middle East has been hit particularly hard as cases started spreading across the region as travelers returned from Iran, the second deadliest epicenter for the disease after China, with more than 90 reported dead.
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