Palestinian Authority Announces Five-day Coronavirus Lockdown in the West Bank

The lockdown will go into effect on Monday, following a spike in coronavirus cases and deaths

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Palestinian security forces stop vehicles as part of lockdown measures in Ramallah, this week.
Palestinian security forces stop vehicles as part of lockdown measures in Ramallah, this week.Credit: Nasser Nasser / AP

The Palestinian Authority announced a lockdown in all parts of the West Bank starting Monday, due to a rise in coronavirus-related deaths and infection rates.

The lockdown will be in place for five days, and during it most kindergartens and schools will be closed and universities and colleges will move to online learning. Palestinians will be banned from leaving their city or district, and all gatherings, including weddings and funerals, will be banned. Some locales also imposed additional restrictions on their residents. 

The Palestinian Health Ministry said that 1,587 people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus and 27 have died from the virus over the past 24 hours. Some 6,000 COVID tests were conducted on Friday. There are currently 20,733 active cases in the West Bank and East Jerusalem according to the health ministry. In addition, the number of seriously ill patients in the West Bank has climbed to 170, of whom 48 are on ventilators. 

Last week, the WHO published a report about the coronavirus in the West Bank. Before the findings were published, the health ministry noted a rise in 38 percent in infection, and a 61 percent rise in deaths. 

Earlier this week, Gaza received a shipment of 40,000 vaccines from the UAE. The shipment of Russia's Sputnik V vaccines was reportedly organized by Mahmoud Abbas rival Mohammad Dahlan. 

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said that most of the hospitals in the West Bank are overcrowded, including the intensive care units.

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