Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday announced to extend the state of emergency for 30 days amid the new coronavirus pandemic.
In a televised address, Abbas said, “The measure of extending the state of emergency and the other exceptional precautionary measures were taken to combat coronavirus, protect public health and achieve security and stability”.
He further said that the Palestinian leadership “is doing its best to restrict the deadly coronavirus and limit its spread as much as we can”.
“We count on our people’s awareness and their commitment to abide by these measures”, he noted.
The Israeli army has sealed off the city of Bethlehem and Palestinian officials have ordered the Church of the Nativity to close.
Tens of thousands of Palestinian workers, who work in Israel, were expected to return to their homes in the West Bank due to the Jewish holidays that will start next week.
“We work with concerned authorities to coordinate their (workers) arrival and conduct all the needed logistic and medical measures to ensure their safety,” said Abbas.
Earlier this week, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health has recorded the first death due to deadly virus in the occupied West Bank.
Ibrahim Melhem, the Ministry of Health spokesperson, said that 64 people have tested positive for the virus in Palestinian territories, 16 of whom are recovering.