Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune yesterday vowed to "tighten lawful penalties against any aggressor on the national medical personnel", local media has reported.
"As a citizen, I find our doctors and nurses, who have not seen their families over the last four months to fight the novel coronavirus, as fighters in a battle," Tebboune said, describing attackers as "violators".
The leader pointed out that a new bill would be issued "next week to protect all the country's medical personnel and workers", adding that the penalties would be "severe" and would range between "five to ten years in prison".
"All medical workers are under the full protection of the Algerian government and people," Tebboune stressed.
The president also slammed what he described as "state delay in providing a recently-approved grant for health professionals, small traders and craftsmen who have been affected by the pandemic."
Algeria has so far reported 23,691 cases of the novel coronavirus, including 1,087 deaths, according to the US' Worldometers.