Selin ATAY-TDO- The Palestinian government is implementing a comprehensive shutdown in the West Bank as part of measures to combat the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. It was decided by the Palestinian government to close all educational institutions in the West Bank for two weeks, starting tomorrow. Measures taken by the government to combat the outbreak include a ban on long-distance travel and the continuation of a partial overnight shutdown.
As Israel conducts preparatory work to vaccinate its citizens against Covid-19 disease, Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza are trying to guarantee vaccine doses for themselves.
Palestinian executives have been in contact with international organizations, pharmaceutical manufacturing companies Moderna and AstraZeneca, as well as countries such as China and Russia that produce special vaccines. However the Palestinian government, constrained by financial difficulties, has not signed any final agreement to import vaccines, unlike Israel. Israel, on the other hand, has bought millions of doses of vaccines from pharmaceutical companies and is working to produce its own vaccine.
A recent statement by Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Al-Shabaab said it would take months for enough vaccines to reach their hands to allow the entire population to be vaccinated. The Palestinian Authority hopes to meet 20 percent of its needs from the World Health Organization's (WHO) special vaccination program for poor countries. The needs of middle-income and the rest are expected to be met by purchases made by the Palestinian Authority and donors.
Israeli Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kisch told reporters that they would review the issue of helping the Palestinian Authority when they saw that Israel's needs were met and that it had additional capacity. "In this context, there is also a benefit and importance associated with preventing infected people from entering our side. But the priority is Israeli citizens”, he added.