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UPDATE 1-Algerian leader flies to Germany for 'medical checks' after isolating for COVID

(Adds details, background)

ALGIERS, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has been transferred to Germany for medical checks, state media reported on Wednesday, days after senior aides tested positive for COVID-19 and he went into hospital.

Tebboune, 75, 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 last year.

He said on Saturday he was self isolating after senior government aides had fallen sick and on Tuesday state media said he had been admitted to a specialised treatment unit in an army hospital, without saying if he had COVID-19.

“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.

Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed and Lamine Chikhi, additional reporting by Alaa Swilam; editing by Angus McDowall and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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