Six more Palestinians tested positive for coronavirus, raising the total number of patients diagnosed with it to 115 by Monday afternoon.
Palestinian Authority health officials expressed cautious optimism regarding the prospects of preventing a major outbreak. Strict measures taken by the PA government in the past three weeks, including lockdowns on several cities, have proven to be efficient in the fight against the virus, they said.
“We have good reason to be optimistic, especially in light of what we see in other places surrounding us,” a PA Health Ministry senior official said. “I’m also optimistic because I see that many people are complying with the guidelines to prevent the disease from spreading.”
Palestinians, in an effort to curb the spread of the virus, marked Land Day without holding public protests and rallies. Land Day refers to the 1976 violence that erupted in Israel after the government’s decision to expropriate thousands of dunams for state use.
For the first time, Arab citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip commemorated the anniversary by issuing statements and posting comments on social-media platforms.
The new coronavirus cases were discovered in the village of Katanna, south of Ramallah, PA Interior Ministry spokesman Ghassan Nimer said.
Sixty-four of the patients were males and 51 were females, he said.
Forty-six Palestinians were diagnosed with the disease in the Bethlehem area, while the others were confirmed in Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus, Jericho, Salfit and the Gaza Strip, Nimer said.
Last week, a woman in her 60s from the village of Bido was the first patient to die of coronavirus, the PA reported.
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have not reported new cases in the past week.
Hebron Governor Jibreen al-Bakri announced the city would be under lockdown as of Monday morning to prevent the spread of the virus.
In the context of its precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus, the PA has begun placing Palestinians who work in Israel in isolation upon their return to their homes in the West Bank.
The workers are picked up by Palestinian security officers and health officials at checkpoints at the entrances to Palestinian cities and taken to quarantine centers.
The move was taken after the PA claimed some patients contracted the disease after coming in contact with relatives returning from work in Israel.