Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (WAFA Image)
Ramallah (UNA-OIC) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday evening announced extension of the state of emergency for a month, to stem the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Abbas issued a presidential decree extending the state of emergency for 30 days as of August 4 throughout the occupied Palestinian territories to battle the spread of the pandemic.
The move came as the government extended the easing of the coronavirus lockdown until the end of August.
Speaking in a press briefing in Ramallah, Government Spokesman Ibrahim Milhem announced the government’s decision to form a daily follow-up committee comprising of all ministries and security agencies to be in charge of following-up on field efforts to combat the pandemic outbreak, as well as conducting field inspection and overseeing operations through special committees.
As part of the extended lockdown ease, cafes, restaurants, sports clubs and gyms are allowed to reopen at 50 percent operational capacity, in line with the Health Ministry’s relevant protocols.
The government’s decision allows the tightening of monitoring of public places, ensuring the compliance of enterprise owners and public transportation with all precautionary measures and imposing penalties on violators.
The spokesman pointed out that the government decided to maintain the ban on large events, including weddings and condolence gathering, as well as the closure of events halls.
As for the weekends, he noted that the government decided to reinstate the weekend general lockdown from Thursday (9:00 PM) to Sunday morning, while allowing businesses to operate during the rest of the week days from 7:00 AM to 12:00 PM.
Milhem added that closure will be maintained on all villages, camps and city neighborhoods stricken by the pandemic and called on all workers inside Israel to comply with the precautionary health measures and to refrain from commuting between their workplaces and places of residence.
According to the latest coronavirus data, the confirmed cases in the occupied territories (West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza) reached 16,628, of which 12,692 cases were recorded in the West Bank, 78 in the Gaza Strip and 3,858 in East Jerusalem.
Recoveries from the disease have totaled 7,929, including 1,510 in Jerusalem, and the death toll reached 87, leaving a total of 8,612 active cases.