Palestinians close two West Bank cities after virus spike

By: AFP      Published: 01:13 AM, 21 Jun, 2020
Palestinians close two West Bank cities after virus spike
Mask-clad Palestinian security forces stand a checkpoint in the village of Tafouh, west of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, on June 19, 2020, while enforcing a lockdown due to a surge of new cases of COVID-19 coronavirus amidst the ongoing pandemic.–AFP

The Palestinian Authority on Saturday said it was temporarily closing the cities of Hebron and Nablus in the occupied West Bank to contain the spread of coronavirus after a sharp rise in infections.

"The government decided to close the governorate of Hebron to prevent anyone from entering or exiting, with the exception of the transport of merchandise," Palestinian prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said.

He told a news conference that Hebron would be closed for five days and Nablus for 48 hours.

The measures come after an increase in COVID-19 infections in both cities.

Hebron saw 48 new cases on Saturday, bringing the total to 258, while authorities have reported 23 cases in Nablus.

Authorities have reported a total of 687 cases in the West Bank, including two deaths so far.