Creating new perspectives since 2009

West Bank under nightly, weekend lockdown as COVID-19 spreads

July 24, 2020 at 2:20 pm

Police officers tend to the streets after a curfew was announced by authorities as a measure against coronavirus (COVID-19), in Ramallah, West Bank on 23 March 2020 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

The Palestinian Authority (PA) yesterday imposed a night-time and weekend lockdown on the occupied West Bank, to prevent the spread of coronavirus infections, reported Wafa news agency.

In addition to the general dusk-to-dawn curfew and movement being prohibited between West Bank regions until 27 July, major cities Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus and Bethlehem, where there were a large number of cases, will be under a total lockdown over the weekend.

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

The spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of the Interior, Brigadier Dr Ghassan Nimer, said the government’s decision to reinstate the weekend lockdown is designed to prevent all forms of social gatherings and visits, and allow the Health Ministry’s Preventive Medicine to record all suspected COVID-19 cases.

A rapid increase in the number of cases was observed in occupied East Jerusalem, the statement added.

READ: When it comes to Covid-19 and colonisation, the UN surpasses its usual duplicity

The PA imposed a full lockdown in the West Bank after the first coronavirus cases were identified in early March, lifting it at the end of May. It was reimposed on 3 July and has since been extended following a spike in the number of infections.

According to the Ministry of Health, among the 11,875 cases of COVID-19, 6,401 were recorded in the West Bank, 2,131 in East Jerusalem, and 75 in the Gaza Strip.

It added that the death toll today reached 73, leaving a total of 8,710 active cases.

Meanwhile, Israel has been reporting around 1,000 new cases a day, higher than its peak during the previous wave. The government confirmed infections stand at more than 58,500 including 446 patients who have died as a result of coronavirus.