April 27, 2020 / 5:58 PM / a month ago

Algeria extends coronavirus restrictions to May 14

FILE PHOTO: A view of an empty street, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Algiers, Algeria March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina/File Photo

ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algeria will extend movement restrictions for the second time by 15 days until May 14 to help limit the spread of the new coronavirus, the prime minister’s office said on Monday.

Authorities in the North African country earlier this month extended until April 29 measures including a nationwide curfew and shutdowns of mosques, schools and universities. Public transport and airline flights also remain suspended, and the government has granted paid leave to 50% of state employees.

But the curfew has been shortened over the past two days by two hours to help some businesses reopen for much of the day including shops for building materials, clothing and shoes, cosmetics and perfumes.

“The government renews the need for vigilance and sense of responsibility for citizens and merchants,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement, alluding in part to social distancing rules meant to limit transmission of the virus.

Algeria, a major oil and gas exporter, has confirmed a total of 3,517 COVID-19 infections including 432 deaths and 1,558 recoveries from the highly infectious respiratory disease.

Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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