Photo Credit: Wissam Hashlamoun/Flash90
PA Police in Beit Jala. March 5, 2020

The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Thursday declared a state of emergency in Bethlehem, Jericho and the Jordan Valley following the discovery of the first cases on Coronavirus in the PA.

The authority has ordered the closure of all educational institutions and has banned all public events planned in these areas, including prayers in mosques and churches.

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The Authority also ordered a halt on the reception of tourists in the hotels in the cities of Bethlehem and Jericho for 14 days.

These steps were taken after it became clear that four workers at a hotel in the town of Beit Jala in the Bethlehem area were infected with the Coronavirus.

The Angel Hotel in Beit Jala, where the suspected cases came from, has been converted into an isolation facility and the Palestinian Authority is now taking precautions in light of the many tourist groups arriving in Bethlehem.

Blood samples were taken from Polish and American tourists and 21 hotel employees who are suspected of having been infected with the virus and were transferred to Israel for testing.

Meanwhile, the PA has ruled out the possibility of another infection case in the Qalqiliya area.

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