Palestine Authority President Mahmoud Abbas extended the state of emergency in the occupied West Bank yesterday for another 30 days following an increase in the number of coronavirus infections, Wafa news agency has reported.
Health Minister Mai Al-Kaila said that 2,802 new cases have been confirmed in the occupied Palestinian territories today, along with two deaths. She also reported that 445 people have recovered from the virus. Fifty-nine Covid-19 patients are in intensive care, including 21 on ventilators. Gaza, meanwhile, has reported 1,250 new cases and five deaths.
The coronavirus pandemic led to the PA imposing a lockdown for nine consecutive months in an effort to stem the spread of the virus. A 30-day state of emergency was declared on 5 March 2020, and has been renewed monthly ever since.
The health authorities are warning that the healthcare system in Gaza – where nearly 75 per cent of the population of two million Palestinians are refugees – is struggling to contain the number of cases. The situation is being made worse by the chronic shortage of medicines and medical supplies caused by the Israeli-led blockade of the territory.