West Bank (Dispatches) – The Palestinian Health Ministry has recommended a two-week lockdown amid a surge in coronavirus infections across the West Bank.
Palestinian Authority’s Health Minister Mai al-Kaila suggested Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh implement a comprehensive closure as positive cases have increased by some 20-30 percent, while hospital beds in several places are nearing full capacity, according to a statement on the ministry website.
"This is the third wave of the coronavirus outbreak in Palestine,” al-Kaila told local media on Friday. "And it is the most difficult period we have experienced since the beginning of the pandemic.”
The marked increase in the number of infected people is linked to the appearance of the new strains first reported in the United Kingdom and South Africa, the minister said, adding that cases related to the Brazilian strain have not been detected so far.
Coronavirus cases in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have reached nearly 180,000, while more than 2,000 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has condemned the Zionist regime’s promise to send coronavirus vaccines to far-away countries while ignoring the five-million-strong Palestinian population living kilometers away under its military occupation as an "immoral measure”.
On Thursday, Honduras received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines from the occupying regime, after Israeli media reported earlier this week the regime’s intention to send vaccines to the Central American country, in addition to Guatemala, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Kan Public Broadcasting reported that 100,000 Moderna vaccines will be shipped to 15 allies of the occupying regime, as well as several countries in Africa that have strong or growing ties with the regime.
Guatemala followed the United States’ controversial decision to move its embassy to al-Quds last year, while Honduras has promised to do the same.
Hungary has set up a trade mission office in al-Quds, and the Czech Republic has pledged to open a diplomatic office in the city as well.
The PA’s minister of foreign affairs, Riyad al-Malki, said the regime’s decision to provide vaccines to countries in exchange for political concessions is a form of "political blackmail and an immoral measure”.