ALGIERS, Algeria

Algeria has recorded the first two cases of the new UK coronavirus strain, said a medical institute specialized in epidemiology.

“Two cases of the new British strain were confirmed, and this came after analysis of positive PCR samples, on Feb. 19,” the Pasteur Institute of Algeria said on its website.

One of the cases was found in an employee of a mental health hospital and the other in a migrant, who returned from France to attend his father’s funeral.

The UK coronavirus strain was first discovered last September in Kent.

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization announced that the number of countries in which the new strain appeared rose to 86.

Algerian authorities recently decided to completely close all land, sea and air borders for a month from March 1 to 31 as part of measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus strain.

As of Thursday evening, Algeria recorded a total of 112,622 coronavirus cases, including 2,973 fatalities, and 77,683 recoveries.

Algeria launched a COVID-19 vaccination campaign at the end of January.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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