Palestine says first after China to take successful anti-coronavirus measures
Publish- March 15, 2020, 11:35 AM
Xinhua/UNB - Xinhua/UNB
Update- March 15, 2020, 12:11 PM
A medical technician works at a novel coronavirus detection lab in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on March 14, 2020.Xinhua Photo
Palestine said on Saturday that it was the first to follow in China's steps by taking timely and successful measures against the spread of the novel coronavirus.
"We were the first country after China to follow serious and strict measures that have been successful in controlling the spread of the virus," said Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtayeh at the opening of a special cabinet meeting.
Ishtayeh said his cabinet convened an urgent meeting to discuss the emergency state budget in the light of the state of emergency declared on March 5.
As part of its precautionary measures, the cabinet meeting was held in a wider hall, with ministers seated more than one meter away from each other, he noted.
Ensuring no shortage of goods supply in the market, the prime minister called on the Palestinians to avoid gatherings and unnecessary travels.
Earlier in the day, the Palestinian government suspended prayers in mosques and churches in the West Bank to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, urging worshippers to pray at home.
"In the light of the Health Ministry's recommendation to minimize contact among people and reduce gatherings as much as possible, we call upon our Muslim people in Palestine to hold their prayers at home," said a statement by the Palestinian Ministry of Waqf and Religious Affairs.
Meanwhile, the Higher Presidential Committee of Churches Affairs in Palestine asked Christians to be "committed to the declared state of emergency" and hold prayers at home.
Ibrahim Milhem, spokesman of the Palestinian government, said 38 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the West Bank.
On March 5, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared a state of emergency for one month after the first case of coronavirus was discovered in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.