Palestine declares state of emergency to tackle coronavirus outbreak

Palestinian workers disinfect places of worship as a preventive measure amid fears of the spread of the novel coronavirus on 12 March 2020 [Ashraf Amra/ApaImages]

Palestinian workers disinfect places of worship as a preventive measure amid fears of the spread of the novel coronavirus on 12 March 2020

Four new cases of the coronavirus have been detected in the occupied West Bank bringing the total number of infections to 35 and forcing the government to declare a 30-day state of emergency yesterday.

The cases have been found in the Bethlehem and patients have been quarantined.

Iran, which has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world after China, has reported 11,364  people infected with 514 deaths. Satellite pictures, first reported by the New York Times, show two large burial trenches, recently dug in Behesht-e Masoumeh cemetery, about 80 miles south of Tehran, which are expected to be used to bury those affected.

Arizona Democrat@LiterateLiberal  

Satellite images show Iran has built mass graves amid coronavirus outbreak …

Satellite images show Iran has built mass graves amid coronavirus outbreak

Trenches in city of Qom confirm worst fears about extent of the epidemic and the government’s subsequent 13:20 – 13 Mar 2020Twitter Ads information and privacy

In Lebanon, banks will close tomorrow in order to take steps to sanitise branches and prevent the spread of coronavirus, the country’s banking association said in a statement today. Lebanon has so far recorded 77 cases of coronavirus and three deaths, according to the health ministry.

READ: Lebanese pupils mess around in online class

The Turkish health minister said a second patient has been confirmed with coronavirus today. The Turkish presidential spokesman also announced primary and secondary schools will be closed next week to avoid the spread of the virus. Some 90,000 mosques were sterilised across the country ahead of Friday prayers today.

On social media, users shared what appeared to be a video of the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein talking about the coronavirus, fuelling claims the disease was began as part of biological warfare efforts.

Mohammed Soleiman3@Mohammed230619  

The former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein talks about the threat of Corona virus nearly 20 years ago in this video. …يَمَنٌ وشَامُ@wrt97 

عشان تتأكد من ان #فيروس_كورونا مصنوع من الدول الإرهابيه للإطاحة بالاقتصاد اسمع #صدام شو قال عنه يوم هددوه وقالو له بنرميك بصاروخ #كورونا.

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18:28 – 8 Mar 2020Twitter Ads information and privacy

But Raghad Saddam Hussein, the daughter of the late president, denied the authenticity of the video and wrote on Twitter that “the clip is fabricated”, and that the voice is of someone else and not that of her father.

رغد صدام حسين@RghadSaddam  

فيديو مفبرك .. و الصوت مركب لشخص آخر يقلد صوت الرئيس الشهيد صدام حسين ..

سبق و ان نشر هذا الشخص نفسه اكثر من فيديو يقلد صوت الشهيد صدام حسين ،، و من يدقق يعرف الصوت تقليد و ليس صوت الرئيس الشهيد ..

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1,20309:16 – 8 Mar 2020Twitter Ads information and privacy

READ: Now is the time for unity in the Middle East as coronavirus fears grip the region

(Source / 13.03.2020) 

COVID-19 Cases In Palestinian Territories Rise To 31

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A Palestinian woman today tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the occupied territories to 31.

Government spokesman Ibrahim Melhem announced that a Palestinian girl in her 20s from Beit Jala, the sister town of Bethlehem, has tested positive for coronavirus.

He added that of the 31 confirmed patients, 11 cases are females and 20 are males, and that three cases are under 18 years: one 16 years and another 17 years-old, along with a two-year-old baby girls. With the exception of one case in the northern West Bank city of Tulkarm, the rest are confined to the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem and area towns.

The health condition of the patients infected with the virus remained stable, he added, noting that 224 suspected cases were tested and the results were all negative.

Melhem stressed that the Palestinian government was doing what it can to contain the outbreak of the virus through declaring the state of emergency and taking a set of precautionary measures.

(Source / 13.03.2020) 

Gaza Health Ministry Advises Citizens Against Leaving The Enclave

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The health ministry in the Gaza Strip has advised Palestinian citizens not to leave the enclave and asked them to take necessary precautions so as not to get infected with the coronavirus.

The ministry, in a statement distributed to citizens on Saturday, said that unless there is urgent need for travel citizens should not leave the Strip for the time being.

It added that all those returning to the Strip via the Rafah border crossing will be held in quarantine out of keenness on safety of all residents.

No cases of coronavirus were detected in Gaza while 16 cases were reported in the West Bank.

(Source / 08.03.2020) 


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(Last update: 6 March 2020)

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) is carefully monitoring the situation with regards to Coronavirus (COVID-19, or 2019-nCoV) in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), Israel and Lebanon. We are currently engaged in contingency planning with regards to potential impacts on our programmes and the need for additional support to health services, and will update supporters as this develops. We will also update supporters with any relevant changes to fundraising challenge events as necessary.


Currently there are seven confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the occupied Palestinian territory. The latest local updates from the World Health Organization (WHO) are available on their website here.

The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced a 30-day “state of emergency” on 5 March, closing schools, restricting non-essential travel between areas, and canceling foreign tourist reservations and international conferences. MAP has therefore suspended visiting medical missions to the West Bank for this period.

There are 16 confirmed cases in Israel. The latest global updates from the WHO are available here.


Currently there 16 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lebanon. The latest local updates from the WHO are available on their website here.

MAP’s community midwives are taking precautionary preventive measures including hand washing, antiseptic lotions, and gloves, and are conducting individual health education sessions for beneficiaries. They have already received hard copies of the WHO printed corona virus material and are reporting daily to our Maternal and Child Health centres and visiting beneficiaries in the camps as usual.


The latest travel advice from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office regarding COVID-19 is available on their website here.

The WHO’s health and prevention advice to the public is available here, and advice from NHS England here.

(Source / 08.03.2020) 

Coronavirus in Palestine

Ramallah (QNN) – The Palestinian Ministry of Health said today that the number of people who have been infected with coronavirus in Palestine has risen to 19, and are quarantined in Bethlehem district.

Three people who came in contact with the infected cases at Angel Hotel in Bethlehem were tested positive and placed in quarantine, said the ministry.

It said tests were conducted until today on 500 people suspected of contracting the disease but all turned out negative.

It said 32 others are kept in a quarantine at Angel Hotel in Bethlehem, the same hotel were the confirmed 16 cases of coronavirus are kept, and 15 others at Paradise Hotel also in Bethlehem where infected tourists seem to have been.

(Source / 08.03.2020) 

As A Precautionary Step, Ramallah City Sterilizes Mosques, Churches And Homes For The Elderly

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As part of its effort to combat the deadly coronavirus disease, the Ramallah municipality decided following an emergency meeting to take preventive measure starting with sterilization of a number of the city’s institutions as per the priority plan set by the municipality.

According to this plan, all places of Muslim and Christian worship as well as Ramallah City Hall in all its sections will be sterilized in the first stage, which will be followed by sterilization of homes of the elderly, societies and municipal facilities, and then waste containers and their environs and waste transport vehicles.

Ramallah Mayor Mousa Hadid said these measures were necessary in order to secure the safety of the city’s population and visitors.

The Ramallah municipality decided as well to postpone all activities it has organized and scheduled for March, close many facilities including the Tourist Information Center, the Recreational Complex, the Cultural Palace, the Old City Hall, the municipal theater and all public parks.

(Source / 07.03.2020) 

Coronavirus cases in Palestine rise to 16

JERUSALEM, PALESTINOW.COM – Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Keileh announced Friday that the number of cases of COVID-19 in Palestine has risen to 16.

She said in a press statement that nine new cases were confirmed in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

READ : Palestine divided over coronavirus counter-measures

The statement also said that there are 120 cases under home quarantine.

On Thursday, al-Keileh announced that Palestine’s first seven cases were detected in Bethlehem.

Following al-Keileh’s announcement, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday declared a state of emergency in Palestine for 30 days.

In Gaza, schools and universities announced on Friday afternoon that they decided to close until further notice.

The United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East also announced that it decided to temporarily close all its schools in the Gaza Strip as a precautionary step.

READ : Bethlehem on high alert with suspected corona virus

Meanwhile, the local health ministry in Gaza announced on Friday afternoon that the Gaza Strip is so far free of the novel coronavirus.

It called on the populations of the Gaza Strip to abide by the instructions of the health ministry and the World Health Organization.

(Source / 07.03.2020) 

Palestine divided over coronavirus counter-measures

People wear masks to protect themselves from coronavirus (Covid-19) in Jerusalem on 6 March 2020

JERUSALEM, PALESTINOW.COM – Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas announced a state of emergency for 30 days in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as a counter-measure against the spread of the coronavirus.

READ : Amazon will now deliver for free to Palestine

Following Abbas’s announcement, PA Prime Minister Mohamed Shtayyeh broadcast the closure of all of the government institutions in both parts of the country.

However, the government in Gaza, run by Abbas’s rival movement Hamas, confirmed that there was no need for such measures, as there have been no coronavirus cases found in the coastal enclave.

Following this stance, the universities and various institutions run by Fatah, and people loyal to Abbas, affirmed their commitment to the announcement and closed their institutions for 30 days.

READ : Bethlehem on high alert with suspected corona virus

The Education Ministry in Gaza announced a work suspension for two days, while the Islamic University and the University College of Applied Sciences suspended work until further notice. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) also announced work suspension on Saturday.

(Source / 07.03.2020) 

Official Denies Any Cases Of Coronavirus In Gaza

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Minister of Health Mai Keileh denied the existence of any cases of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) in Palestine, including both the West Bank and Gaza.

Keileh denied a report by an international newspaper she did not name which featured a list of the countries that have been infected with COVID-19, and which claimed that 17 cases of the new disease were recently detected in the Gaza Strip.

She said the report was baseless as it failed to refer to the fact-sheets of the World Health Organization or the Palestinian Ministry of Health in both the West Bank and Gaza.

Keileh stated that after making sure no cases of coronavirus were detected in the Gaza Strip, the ministry reached out to the newspaper, which apologized for publishing the report without referring to a reliable source. She said the newspaper later issued another report that did not include any cases of the epidemic in Gaza

(Source / 29.02.2020)