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80 Palestinian prisoners have COVID-19, rights group warns

More than 80 Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails have contracted coronavirus

More than 80 Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails have contracted coronavirus, the Wa'ed Association for Prisoners and Liberated Prisoners said in a press conference in Gaza today.

The detainees are being held in the Gilboa prison and include prisoners who have existing medical conditions and the elders.

The organisation said it has serious indications of infection transmission from Gilboa prison to other prisons after infected prisoners were transferred between detention facilities, which means the virus is spreading in four main prisons: Megiddo, Ofer, Gilboa and Shatta.

Those in Gilboa who complained of coronavirus symptoms last week were told by the physician that they had contracted the flu and they were returned to their cells, Wa'ed explained, adding that it was only after the prison administration in Gilboa was placed under great pressure that it carried out the necessary checks.

READ: Gaza unemployment rate reaches 70%

It was then discovered that 12 detainees had contracted coronavirus and that they had been in contact with all the prisoners in Gilboa who numbered about 90.

The rights group said it held prison authorities responsible for the spread of the disease.

In total, 112 prisoners have been infected by coronavirus, almost 30 of whom have now recovered.

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