First cases of Delta coronavirus variant found in West Bank

First cases of Delta Covid-19 variant reported in occupied West Bank
1 min read
28 June, 2021
Two Palestinian women who had just returned from the UAE to the West Bank tested positive with the new variant.
Palestine experienced numerous lockdowns due to the Covid-19 epidemic [Getty]

The first two cases of the Delta variant of the coronavirus have been detected in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian Health Minister Mai Alkaila confirmed on Sunday.

In a statement carried by the Palestinian Authority's news agency Wafa, the virus was found in two Palestinian women who had recently returned from the UAE to the West Bank districts of Salfit and Qalqilia.

Alkaila said the ministry staff have conducted medical examinations of the patients and were screening direct contacts to limit the spread of the highly transmissible variant.

She urged all those who have not yet been vaccinated to do so as quickly as possible to avoid serious illness and more hospitalisations. Alkaila also urged Palestinians to avoid travelling abroad unless necessary.

Voices

The Delta variant is thought to be more transmissible than the Alpha strain.

The PA on Sunday recorded 86 new cases of Covid-19 and one death from the disease over the past 24 hours.

Earlier this month, Israel was condemned for "medical apartheid" after providing the PA with near out-of-date vaccines.

The Palestinian health ministry has overall recorded 313,721 coronavirus cases, 3,559 deaths and 307,618 ​recoveries.