PA, Jordan and Lebanon take precautionary measures against coronavirus

Palestinians say they are working with Israel to combat the virus

Palestinian health workers wearing protective masks walk in a quarantine zone installed by the ministry of health to test passengers returning from China for coronavirus, at Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip February 16, 2020. (photo credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)
Palestinian health workers wearing protective masks walk in a quarantine zone installed by the ministry of health to test passengers returning from China for coronavirus, at Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip February 16, 2020.
(photo credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)
The Palestinian Authority, Jordan and Lebanon said on Sunday they have taken precautionary measures to prevent the outbreak of the coronavirus in their territories.
While the PA and Jordan said no cases of coronavirus have been found among their citizens, Lebanon confirmed the first case of a 45-year-old woman returning from a visit to Iran. The woman, Taghrid Sakr, was on a plane that arrived from the Shi’ite holy city of Qom. Health officials checked the 150 passengers upon arrival at Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport. Sakr showed symptoms and was immediately taken to isolation.
In an audio recording, she later denied she had been infected with the coronavirus and criticized the Lebanese authorities for lying about her case.
Lebanese Health Minister Hamad al-Hassan issued a statement saying there was “no need to panic.” He said that the ministry did not find other cases of coronavirus after testing in several hospitals.
The Lebanese authorities have also announced a series of measures at Beirut Airport and other border crossings to prevent the outbreak of the virus. The authorities said there was no reason for panic at this stage.
In Amman, Jordanian State Minister for Media Affairs Amjad Adayleh said precautionary measures against the coronavirus are in effect as of Sunday. “The government has decided to bar non-Jordanians coming from Iran, South Korea, and China from entering the Kingdom as a temporary procedure,” Adayleh said in a statement.
Jordanians arriving from these countries, he added, will be subjected to a two-week precautionary quarantine to ensure they are free from infections. “The government has doubled down on health control measures at all border crossings and airports, in line with the precautionary measures recommended by the World Health Organization,” the minister said.
Earlier the Jordanian authorities announced a halt to the Chinese animal and vegetable products as a precaution for the coronavirus. Jordanian authorities had also placed in isolation a Chinese worker, who arrived in the Hashemite kingdom from the coronavirus-stricken Chinese city of Wuhan in late January, as a precautionary measure.
The PA Health Ministry announced that although no coronavirus cases have been found in the West Bank, it has ordered all hospitals to be in a “state of emergency” as a precaution.
On Saturday, PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh, who also serves as interior minister, ordered the closure of facilities and restaurants visited by South Korean tourists earlier this month. The group had visited Jericho.
The PA has also set up a quarantine center near Jericho for passengers arriving from China and other coronavirus-hit countries.
Palestinian health officials announced on Sunday they were coordinating with Israeli authorities to prevent the combat the coronavirus. They said the Palestinians were also cooperating with Egypt and Jordan to prevent the spread of the virus.
As well, Iraq has sealed its border with Iran to prevent the coronavirus from spreading.


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