Algeria reimposes restrictions on gatherings to stem coronavirus cases

July 25, 2021 4:26 PM EDT

FILE PHOTO: People walk past tents erected during a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination campaign that is taking place outside mosques, after Friday Prayers in Algiers, Algeria July 9, 2021. REUTERS/Abdelaziz Boumzar

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ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algeria will reimpose restrictions on gatherings from Monday to cope with a rapid spread of the more infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus that has led to an increase in the number of patients, the prime minister's office said.

The measures, which will apply to 35 out of 58 provinces, include mainly closing gyms, cultural centres, leisure venues, beaches and used car markets, as well as an 8 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew, a statement from the office said on Sunday.

All gatherings, including wedding celebrations will be banned, while cafes and restaurants will be allowed to provide only take away services.

The Delta variant caused 71% of total infections for July, according to the state research centre Pasteur Institute.

The North African country has so far reported a total of 162,155 infections, including 4,063 deaths, since the pandemic began early last year.

(Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; editing by Grant McCool)

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