President Abdelmadjid Tebboune of Algeria has been transferred to Germany for medical checks, days after senior aides tested positive for COVID-19 and he went into the hospital.
74-year-old Tebboune, who has been in office for less than a year after winning an election to replace the veteran president Abdelaziz Bouteflika who was ousted during mass protests in 2019, was admitted to hospital in Algeria on Tuesday.
The nature of his condition has not been revealed, but there has been speculation that he’s been infected by coronavirus.
On Saturday, Mr Tebboune went into five days of voluntary self-isolation at the advice of his doctors after many of his aides and government figures tested positive for Covid-19.
Mr Tebboune’s hospitalisation has come just days before a referendum on proposed changes to Algeria’s constitution, which the president very much wants to see approved.
“I assure you, my brothers and sisters, that I am well and healthy and that I continue my work,” he was quoted as saying on Saturday, and Tuesday’s statement said he was still working.
Algerian leaders have historically sought treatment in Europe for more serious medical problems.
Tebboune’s departure for Germany comes days before Algerians vote in a referendum on Sunday on changes to the constitution that Tebboune has pushed as part of the government’s efforts to turn a page on popular unrest.