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Abbas extends pandemic state of emergency

December 3, 2020 at 1:48 pm

A drive through coronavirus test centre in Jerusalem on 29 November 2020 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Palestine Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas today renewed the state of emergency in the occupied West Bank for 30 days following an increase in the number of coronavirus infections, Wafa has reported.

The occupied West Bank has now been in a state of emergency for ninth month in a row since cases of the virus first appeared in Palestine in early March.

In a televised speech last night, President Abbas instructed Palestinians to take extra precautions to prevent the infection from spreading, adding that he has ordered the government to do what is necessary to contain the disease.

He said: “I have instructed the government to take the necessary measures to break this high curve of cases at all costs.”

“Today we are facing a dire new situation, and some may think that we can no longer withstand it, but the reality is that if we take the necessary action collectively and firmly from both the government and the people, then we have succeeded to a large extent in controlling the widespread of the virus,” he added.

READ: UAE negotiates with Israel to buy covid vaccine for Palestinians

Meanwhile, Health Minister Mai Al-Kaila announced that Palestine today recorded 2,738 new novel coronavirus cases and 19 fatalities, the highest daily infections since the pandemic outbreak in March.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem currently stands at 106,312.

She said 69,685 are recorded in the West Bank, 23,023 in the Gaza Strip and 13,604 in East Jerusalem.

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.

Coronavirus spreading in the Middle East - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Coronavirus spreading in the Middle East – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]