Health

Fresh restrictions in West Bank to control coronavirus spike

Jerusalem, Feb 27 (efe-epa).- The Palestinian government on Saturday tightened restrictions in the West Bank in a bid to contain a spike in coronavirus cases.

Universities and schools will be shut down as of Sunday and classes are to continue virtually, Prime Minister Mohamed Shtayeh announced.

Travel between regions in the West Bank is “strictly prohibited,” he added.

A nocturnal ban on vehicle movement, including public transportation, will be imposed between 7 pm and 6 am, and stores must be close during these hours, except for pharmacies and bakeries.

A total lockdown will be imposed on weekends (Friday and Saturdays), with the exception of municipal services, medical personnel and the transport of food and agricultural supplies, Shtayeh added.

The nighttime curfew and total lockdown on weekends have been in place in the West Bank for months but people began to ignore the restrictions.

The restrictions will come into force as of Sunday for at least 12 days.

This week, the West Bank has witnessed an increase in the coronavirus cases, partly because of the spread of the British and South African variants, the premier said.

The Health Ministry on Saturday reported 910 new cases in the past 24 hours, having registered over 1,400 daily infections over the past few days.

The spike in the coronavirus cases has strained the already precarious health system, with the occupation rate at intensive care units standing at 95 percent.

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