West Bank Palestinians gripped by ‘unprecedented’ wave of virus cases

West Bank Palestinians see 1,798 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry reports.

The Palestinian Authority has been seeing what its health officials have described as an “unprecedented” third wave. West Bank Palestinian areas are set to enter total lockdown on Monday, after hospitals reportedly reached full capacity over the weekend.

There are currently 20,694 active cases among Palestinians — 18,599 in the West Bank and 2,095 in the Gaza Strip. According to the PA Health Ministry, 2,255 Palestinians have died of virus since the outbreak of the pandemic last March.

Around 18.6 percent of coronavirus tests came back positive across the West Bank on Sunday, according to Health Ministry figures. The high figure indicates that the virus is likely spreading widely undetected.

“Given that many Palestinians are not being tested, the true infection rate is likely twice the figures we’ve announced,” PA health official Osama al-Najjar estimates to Voice of Palestine Radio.