Algeria Suspends Political, Sports Gatherings over Coronavirus

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The Algerian government has cancelled political and sports gatherings because of the threat posed by coronavirus,

Announcing this Tuesday evening, the Health Minister, Algeria, Abderrahmane Benbouzid, said the government was taking the measure in order to slow the spread of the disease, with 20 confirmed cases already in the country.

He said: “All sports, cultural, political and economic gatherings are cancelled. We do not take any risk,” he said.

There was no immediate comment from leading figures in the political opposition, known as the Hirak, over the move.

However, one student demonstrator, Riad Mekrez, 25, said: “I disagree with it. Hirak must go on even if I acknowledge that we need to protect people from corona.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad said the country faced an unprecedented “multi-dimensional crisis” and urged people to make fewer demands of the government and reduce their street presence.