Sixteen members from a single Algerian family diagnosed with coronavirus

Sixteen members from a single Algerian family diagnosed with coronavirus
The family in Blida province were infected by guests who came from France, as coronavirus cases in Algeria rise to 17.
2 min read
05 March, 2020
Paramedics in Algeria wear protective suits [Getty]

Algeria reported nine new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 17, the health ministry announced.

The cases include 16 people from the same family residing in Blida province, south of the capital Algiers, as well as an Italian man.

The outbreak stems from a man and his daughter who stayed with the family last month while visiting from France, and tested positive for coronavirus after their return home.

The authorities said they have since launched an investigation to track down people who had contact with the two individuals during their stay in Algeria.

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With the exception of Iran, levels of the virus in the Middle East and North Africa have largely remained low since the outbreak emerged in China and began to spreak worldwide.

Thirteen Arab countries have recorded cases so far, with the first death reported in Iraq on Wednesday.

Iran has witnessed a rapid and deadly increase in infections, confirmed to be over 3,500 with 109 deaths.

After an initially slow response and reluctance to implement travel and movement restrictions, Iranian authorities have now launched a litany of measures in a bid to contain the virus which has spread to all but one of the country's provinces.

Schools and universities have been shut until April, while over 15,000 prisoners have been temporarily released and travel will be limited between main cities.

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