25 per cent of Israeli settlers in a West Bank colony have been placed under quarantine, reported The Jerusalem Post, after dozens of residents were stricken with the coronavirus.
Efrat, located in the southern occupied West Bank not far from Bethlehem, has a population of some 13,000 settlers, and an estimated 3,000 are “now in isolation”.
Efrat Council’s director-general Yehuda Schweiger told The Jerusalem Post that he thinks “it will be worse not only in Efrat but in all of the country, because we see every day that the numbers [of those who are ill] only goes up”.
34 settlers in Efrat have been diagnosed as suffering from the virus, prompting the widespread quarantine measures.
According to the report, one particular area of the settlement is the epicentre of the localised outbreak, where almost 300 families are quarantined.
“Over the Purim holiday synagogue services and parties were held in the neighbourhood”, the report noted, and “it turned out that one of the participants had been stricken by the coronavirus”.
Test results subsequently showed that almost the entire neighbourhood had to be quarantined.
In addition, “a teacher in a large school in Efrat contracted the virus and someone from the US also tested positive for the disease”, the report added.
According to additional reports this week, the Israeli military is gearing up to take more responsibility for combating the crisis through movement restrictions.
This includes preparations by Israeli occupation forces to “enforce a full closure of all West Bank checkpoints while authority in that area is to be delegated to the police”.