The curfew has therefore been extended from 20:00-5:00 to 22:00-5:00, while the relaxation and leisure areas, beaches and sports halls have been reopened. As a result, this weekend, several of these spaces were taken by storm by citizens who were just waiting for it, after months of closure.
Several wilayas in the country, including the capital, decided on 2 February to relax the containment measures related to the spread of Covid-19. The curfew has therefore been extended from 20:00-5:00 to 22:00-5:00, while areas for relaxation, recreation, beaches and sports halls have been reopened. As a result, this weekend, several of these spaces were taken by storm by citizens who were just waiting for it, after months of closure.
This is notably the case in Algiers where the Test Garden and Les Sablettes have welcomed thousands of people since their reopening. Don’t these easing measures risk provoking a « third wave », in view of the large number of citizens who have rushed to certain places?
The question deserves to be asked, in view of the fact that distancing and the wearing of masks are not de rigueur, as recommended. Last Friday, the Promenade des Sablettes was very crowded. Taking advantage of the end of the few days of school holidays especially, some parents wanted to offer their children a relaxing afternoon before the resumption of classes, scheduled for today.
Although the posters on which the recommendations for distancing and wearing the mask are written are visible everywhere, especially in the amusement park, in most cases they were not respected. At the ticket sales counter for access to the games, parents were massed together. The same was true for children, or even adults in some cases, who were waiting to enjoy the games. Moreover, few of them wore masks.
And the employees on the premises, themselves usually with their masks « down », do not even try to impose distancing. « Why don’t you ask people to keep a safe distance, » asks a woman wearing a mask in front of the ticket office. « We did it at the beginning, but it’s not possible, » replies the employee.
The disinfection of the games, each time a group of children go out, is not as obvious. The same is true in other parts of the country, where leisure and recreation areas have been reopened.
In Tipasa, the sites of the « Roman ruins » and of the tomb of the Christian woman (Sidi Rached), for example, are also very popular. On the spot, the measures of distancing and the wearing of masks are only little respected. Even the local employees do not wear masks. A visitor to the Roman ruins would say, « It seems normal ».
However, these places welcome people from all parts of the country, even if, because the site is quite large, there are fewer crowds.
In deciding to reopen these places, did the authorities take into account the risks of contamination? It should be remembered that the decision to lighten the containment measures in several wilayas came after three night demonstrations that took place on 30 and 31 January and 1 February in the wilaya of Jijel. Dozens of young people beat the pavement during these three evenings, chanting: « It’s a wilaya, it’s not a cell! ». The containment measures have indeed had negative repercussions on several branches of activity.
Some employees remained for several months without pay. Nevertheless, it should be noted that after each slackening, a clear increase in the number of contaminations was noted, as was the case, for example, after the electoral campaign for the referendum on the Constitution of 1 November. It is true that hospitals have recently experienced a certain lull, but the risk is still there!
Covax: 2 million doses of the anti-Covid vaccine destined for Algeria Covax, the UN agency that supplies vaccines against covid, especially to poor countries, published on Wednesday the list of the first beneficiaries of this sharing. A little more than 337 million doses of the vaccines, developed by AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech, will initially be distributed to 145 countries. Among the countries that will receive the largest number of doses in the first six months of 2021 are India (97.2 million), Pakistan (17.2 million), Nigeria (16 million), Indonesia (13.7 million), Bangladesh (12.8 million) and Brazil (10.7 million).