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Covid-19: Algerians in France raise funds to help their home country fight pandemic

The new Delta variant is responsible for 71 percent of infections in July, while hospitals are short of oxygen tanks and the vaccine rollout is slow
Algerians wait to get free oxygen tanks offered by a private company for Covid-19 patients in the northern city of Blida, 28 July 2021 (AFP)

A group of Algerian students in France has raised a sum of $713,000 in a crowdfunding campaign to purchase medical equipment and hospital supplies to tackle the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic that has hit their home country hard.

On Sunday, 37 Algerians died from Covid-19 and 1,172 positive cases were recorded, according to local media. The most recent figures show that 4,291 Algerians have died of Covid-19, and 173,000 have tested positive for the virus since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

The new Delta variant is responsible for 71 percent of infections in July, according to the Pasteur Institute, an Algerian state-sponsored research centre. Hospitals are short of oxygen tanks and the rollout of vaccines is slow. 

Severe oxygen shortage in Algeria
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The Algerian Medical Network, an NGO, launched a fundraising campaign on 20 July to support hospitals and the medical system to save lives, as the country is witnessing another surge of Covid-19 infection. 

Celebrities and public figures have stepped in to endorse the campaign, including Franck Ribery, the French national footballer, and Leila Bekhti, a film star and actress.

The organisers of the campaign are aiming to raise more money by the end of August and to reach 627,900 euros ($742,400), which will be used to purchase ventilators, medicines and oxygen canisters.

Encouraged by the widespread interest in their campaign, the organisers are intending to launch another fundraiser in the next few days in order to strengthen Algeria's medical system.