West Bank under weekend lockdown as coronavirus cases rises

A teacher checks the body temperature of a student ahead of class during the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in Ramallah, West Bank (Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  November 27, 2020

The occupied West Bank has entered a weekend lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus infections as cases continue to rise, Wafa news agency reported.

The lockdown started this morning and will continue until Sunday morning.

The government will also be enforcing a partial lockdown over the coming weeks with a curfew from 7pm-6am, in an effort to reduce heavy traffic to restaurants, shops, gyms and event halls.

Only pharmacies and bakeries will be allowed to open during this period.

The start of winter has caused additional concern among health officials, as the seasonal flu has become a major issue in addition to the coronavirus.

The spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of the Interior, Brigadier Dr Ghassan Nimer, said: “Movement in the streets will be prevented unless absolutely necessary.”

He said PA security services will conduct patrols in the streets and place barriers at the entrances to some cities, adding that violators will be punished.

Meanwhile, Palestine recorded 1,936 COVID-19 cases today with nine fatalities, the highest single-day rise since the pandemic outbreak in March.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem currently stands at 93,400.

Health Minister Mai Al-Kaila identified the nine new fatalities as one from Bethlehem governorate, three from Hebron, two from Jenin, another from Tulkarm and two others from the Gaza Strip.

Health authorities are warning that the medical system in Gaza – where nearly 75 per cent of the population of two million are refugees – is struggling to contain the number of cases amid a breakdown of health services and limited medical supplies.