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Algerian president has COVID-19 but improving, presidency says

epa08770336 (FILE) - Algerian President-elect Abdelmadjid Tebboune speaks during a press conference in Algiers, Algeria, 13 December 2019 (reissued 24 October 2020). According to a presidency press release, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune will start a five-day voluntary quarantine as per medical staff of the presidency advice after senior officials showed symptoms of Coronavirus infection. EPA-EFE/MOHAMED MESSARA
By Reuters
05 Nov 2020 0

ALGERIA, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has tested positive for COVID-19, but his condition is gradually improving as he receives treatment in a German hospital, the presidency said on Tuesday.

 

Algerian authorities had previously said Tebboune was in Germany for medical checks when he flew there last week, after saying people in his administration had the coronavirus.

Tebboune, 75 and a smoker, was elected less than a year ago as Algeria faced its biggest political crisis in decades with a mass protest movement demanding the entire ruling class be replaced.

Backed by the powerful military, he pushed for changes to the constitution as part of a strategy to turn the page on the unrest. But though it was approved in a referendum on Sunday, voter turnout of 23.7% was very low.

His absence through illness could slow Algeria’s efforts to meanwhile pass economic reforms aimed at reducing the reliance on dwindling energy revenues. (Reporting by Lamine Chikhi; Writing by Angus McDowall; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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