"Lifting the lockdown is ruled out for the moment, because the month of Ramadan is a month of meetings and outings. This may undermine all the work that has been accomplished so far to stabilize the situation. If the indicators show stabilization of the situation, I think we can begin gradual lifting of lockdown that could allow the economy to recover, the people to be less pained and less embarrassed," he said following a videoconference session on the exchange of African experience concerning Covid-19.
Lockdown measure has been extended to April 29th.
A decision will be made "before April, 29th. But the lockdown lifting will concern mainly the province of Blida, which is under total lockdown while other provinces are under partial lockdown," he added.
"The decision of lifting lockdown does not fall in my prerogatives. It will be made in accordance with the situation," he added.
The minister hoped that the situation in the province of Blida improves, in order “to return to partial lockdown like in Algiers (3 P.M to 7 A.M), because it includes almost the same number of contaminations.
The health minister, however, warned against the normal resumption of the habits. "It would be an unfortunate to lift the lockdown and resume normal life as before, with wedding celebrations, family encounters, reopening of shows halls etc," he said.
"We will gradually lift the lockdown, allowing the population to move, but the measures announced (wearing masks, social distancing ...) may remain for months or more. The end of the pandemic will be ensured only when no further cases will be reported," said the minister.
For lifting lockdown, Benbouzid said that Algeria will take into account the experience of other countries which have successfully carried out this process.