New COVID-19 restrictions will be imposed in the Gaza Strip as Hamas authorities weigh how to combat a wave of coronavirus infections in the Palestinian enclave, the Hamas-run Interior Ministry announces.
Gaza has 10,321 active cases, and 827 were recorded over the past 24 hours. Around 32% of coronavirus tests came back positive over the past day.
Mosques, schools, universities and nurseries will all be closed for the foreseeable future, a nightly curfew is being imposed starting at 6 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday there will be a total lockdown across the Gaza Strip, says Interior Ministry spokesperson Iyad al-Bozm.
“We considered imposing a full lockdown, but we decided against it, given the burdens it imposes,” al-Bozm sais.
Around 88% of hospital beds with ventilators for coronavirus patients in critical condition were occupied as of this morning, the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry reported last night.
Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qidra said authorities estimated that another 17,000 Gazans exposed to the virus have been ordered to quarantine.
“The reality is, we are in an extremely dangerous stage,” al-Qidra said.
— Aaron Boxerman