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Coronavirus: Algeria president to be quarantined after staff test positive

Doctors advise 74-year-old Abdelmadjid Tebboune to start five-day quarantine as a precautionary measure, his office said on Saturday
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune (AFP)

Algeria's President Abdelmadjid Tebboune will start a five-day quarantine from Saturday after senior staff tested positive for the highly-infectious coronavirus, according to a statement by his office.

"It has been revealed that several senior officials at the presidency and the prime ministry have showed symptoms of the coronavirus," the president's office said in a statement on Facebook.

"The presidency's medical team has therefore advised the President of the Republic to begin a voluntary five-day quarantine from 24 October 2020," it added.

Algeria has so far reported 55,630 cases of Covid-19 infections and 1,897 deaths. 

Tebboune was elected president in December 2019, with 58 percent of the vote. 

The election was marred by attacks on polling stations and the lowest turnout in the country's history.

The vote was championed by the army as a way of restoring stability almost 10 months into a protest movement that forced the removal of president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 82, after two decades in office.

Protesters slammed the election as a charade to keep the ruling elite in power, with all five of the candidates widely rejected as "children of the regime".