Algeria eases coronavirus lockdown for Ramadan

FILE PHOTO: A general view shows an outdoor market set up by the Algerian government to prevent crowding inside supermarkets, ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, amid concerns over the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Algiers, Algeria April 19, 2020. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algeria will ease confinement measures from the first day of the holy month of Ramadan on Friday by shortening a night curfew and lifting a full lockdown for a province near the capital Algiers, the prime minister’s office said on Thursday.

It said the full lockdown in the Blida province south of Algiers will be replaced with a curfew from 2 p.m. to 7 a.m. while a 3 p.m.-7 a.m. curfew in nine provinces, including Algiers, will be shortened to run from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m.

The government made no changes to the confinement measures in the remaining provinces where a 7 p.m.-7 a.m. curfew has been imposed for weeks.

“Th government reiterates its call for citizens to remain vigilant,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement. “Changing or keeping the confinement measures will depend on the evolution of the epidemiological situation.”

Algeria has so far reported 3,007 cases of the novel coronavirus, with 407 deaths and 1,355 recoveries.

Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed in Algiers; Editing by Matthew Lewis