ALGIERS, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Algeria launched the first edition of the National Book Fair on Thursday in the capital Algiers, the first book fair in the North African country since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic more than a year ago.
Under the slogan the Book is Life, the fair was inaugurated by Culture Minister Malika Bendouda, who hailed the exhibition as "a festivity where visitors could buy books at reasonable price."
"This exhibition will be followed by a series of other fairs that will be organized in different places nationwide," she told reporters.
"I would like to urge everybody to observe strict health protocols relating to COVID-19, including social distancing," the minister noted.
The book fair has attracted as many as 216 publishers, and plans to hold 24 literature conferences and workshops until March 20.
Strict sanitary measures have been taken to ensure the good and healthy organization of this exhibition, including social distancing and mandatory wearing of face masks by exhibitors, organizers and visitors.
Algeria reported 170 new coronavirus cases, 128 recoveries and two deaths in the past 24 hours.