Seventeen Palestinians who were diagnosed with the coronavirus earlier this month have recovered from the disease, Palestinian Authority Minister of Health Mai Alkaila announced on Friday.
The 17 Palestinians who were in quarantine at the Angel Hotel in Bet Jala, near Bethlehem, have recovered from the disease, Alkaila said.
“I congratulate the patients, their families and the general public for the recovery of the 17 citizens,” Alkaila added.
Another 19 Palestinians who were in quarantine after coming in contact with patients infected with the virus have tested negative for the disease, she said.
The 17 Palestinians were placed in quarantine at the hotel after coming in contact with Greek tourists, some of whom tested positive for the virus upon their return to Greece earlier this month.
Bethlehem and the nearby towns of Bet Jala and Bet Sahour remain in lockdown after the first cases of coronavirus were discovered earlier this month. PA security forces have imposed severe restrictions on movement between the three areas. In addition, all entrances to Bethlehem, Bet Jala and Bet Sahour have been completely sealed off by PA security forces.
The health minister said that the Palestinians who recovered from the disease would be permitted to return to their homes on condition that they remain in self-isolation for 14 days.
Alkaila said that the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the PA-controlled areas was 48, including the 17 patients who recovered from the disease.
She revealed that a Palestinian form the town of Salfit, near Nablus, who returned recently from Pakistan, has been diagnosed with the disease and is now in quarantine.
“This is the beginning of victory over the coronavirus,” Alkaila said. “We are still at the beginning of the road. We have workers returning from Israel who need to be examined.”
She said the Palestinians have 120 ventilators and are hoping to increase the number to 250.