RAMALLAH, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Palestine on Thursday extended its coronavirus-related state of emergency by a month following an increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases.
In a decree issued by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the state of emergency was extended effective immediately so as to give the government enough power to tackle the increase in coronavirus cases.
The state of emergency was first issued in March last year after the discovery of the first cases of coronavirus in the Palestinian territories and has been extended or re-declared every month since then.
On Thursday, the Palestinian Health Ministry warned of a rise in coronavirus infections, noting that Palestine witnessed the spread of new coronavirus variants, the high rate of occupancy of hospital beds, the number of patients connected to artificial respirators, and the number of deaths.
But the ministry said that the Palestinian health system has not collapsed and it is ready to open new wards and hospitals to receive people infected with the coronavirus.
Some Palestinian governors have called for a total lockdown in their districts due to the quick spread of the virus and failure of people to observe precautionary measures, according to local media reports.
Nablus Governor Ibrahim Ramadan announced on Thursday a total lockdown in his governorate for one week, starting Saturday, which includes a ban on movement of vehicles and closure of all shops and industries.
On Thursday, Palestine recorded 2,300 new coronavirus cases, 18 more deaths, and 1,694 recoveries in the last 24 hours.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus in Palestine in March last year, a total of 216,802 people have so far been infected, including 2,314 deaths.