Israel has delivered 250 Coronavirus testing kits to the Palestinian Authority and held joint training sessions in order to help prevent the outbreak of the virus in Gaza and the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).

The Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced it has been working for the past two weeks with the Palestinian Authority bringing medical professionals together for training for the professional study of the virus, the protection of medical personnel, and the testing of patients suspected of being virus carriers.

In addition, COGAT is accessible to the Palestinian public through its social-media platforms, where they can follow the guidelines published by the Israeli Health Ministry on prevention and protection against the spread of the virus and ways of dealing with infection. The information published in Arabic is available to the entire Palestinian public in Judea and Samaria and in the Gaza Strip. 

“COGAT will continue to work closely with the Palestinian authorities to prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” it said. “That’s in coordination with the Israeli authorities, with emphasis on the Health Ministry and Magen David Adom.

Civil Administration Health Coordinator Dalia Bassa said: “Bacteria and viruses don’t stop at the border, and the spread of the dangerous virus in Judea and Samaria may also endanger the health of Israeli citizens. We will continue efforts to assist the Palestinian authorities in eradicating the spread of the virus out of Israeli interests and humanitarian considerations. If needed, we will extend medical training to Palestinian staff as well as transfer of medical equipment to the Palestinian health system.”

On Thursday, the Palestinian Authority announced that seven cases had been discovered.

PA Health Minister Mai al-Kailah said her ministry decided to conduct tests on employees who came in contact with Greek tourists who stayed at the hotel where they work.

“Our medical teams examined the workers of the hotel and later found that seven people tested positive,” she said at a press conference. “They have been placed in quarantine together with the hotel staff and two doctors who came in contact with them.”

Earlier, the PA said it had taken urgent precautionary measures against the coronavirus after discovering a number of suspected cases in Bethlehem.

The measures included closing all mosques and churches in Bethlehem for 14 days and cancelling all workshops, conferences, social and sports activities, Kailah said.

She said the ministry has taken all precautionary measures in Bethlehem and other Palestinian cities  and urged Palestinians to remain calm and exercise self-restraint.

Israel releases special Coronavirus app as it takes unprecedented steps to delay spread of virus

Israel’s Health Ministry has launched a new smartphone app intended to help the whole country stay informed on the COVID-19 coronavirus and its spread in Israel.

Titled CoronApp it includes updated public health guidelines; announcements by the ministry on the latest restrictions, limitations and quarantine requirements; an option to report self-quarantine; reports on locations visited by recently diagnosed patients prior to their quarantine; user-submitted questions and ministry officials’ responses; and more.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Health Ministry took unprecedented steps on Wednesday to delay the spread of the deadly coronavirus, sending 50,000 into quarantine with strict new rules that could see as many as 100,000 forced into home isolation for a two-week period.

The huge spike in quarantine numbers is the result of a new list of countries put on the list for which home isolation is required. Israelis returning from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France and Spain now fall under the new guidelines.

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