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Algiers: Algeria reported nine new confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing to 17 the total number of people tested positive for the virus, the health ministry said.

The cases include 16 from the same family in Blida province, some 30km south of the capital Algiers, and an Italian man.

The family last month hosted a man and his daughter based in France who were tested positive for coronavirus after flying back to France.

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The authorities have since then launched an investigation to identify people with whom the two individuals have met during their stay in Algeria.

The government also put medical staff at hospitals, mainly in Blida and nearby towns, on alert to cope with new cases.

“Mobilisation of health teams remains at its hightest level,” the health ministry said in a statement.