Algerian President Tebboune continues hospital treatment for Covid-19 in Germany

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Algeria's President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has caught Covid-19, his office said Tuesday, ending days of speculation after he was hospitalised in Germany following cases of the virus among aides.

Tebboune, who is 74 and a heavy smoker, "continues to receive treatment in a specialised German hospital after catching the Covid-19 illness" and is "gradually recovering", his office said in a statement.

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.

Algeria's President 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 percent was very low.

His absence through illness could slow Algeria's efforts to pass economic reforms aimed at reducing the reliance on dwindling energy revenues.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)