Coronavirus: Schools and universities closed as state of emergency declared in West Bank and Gaza

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas declared a 30-day state of emergency on Thursday (March 5th) after coronavirus cases were reported in Bethlehem.

Footage filmed on Saturday (March 7th) in the Gaza strip showed several public buildings, including schools and universities, were closed as a result of the emergency measures.

SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) Marwan Al Arabeed, Gaza resident:

"Regarding the closure of Palestinian universities and these schools, it affects the public sector, and measures should be taken in case of any event regarding this alleged virus. There are medical committees that do the work necessary for any person infected with regard to this virus, but stopping movement in the Gaza Strip and stopping education and strikes is incorrect and useless."

SOUNDBITE 2 (Arabic) Muhammad Al Qurm, Gaza resident:

"This disease will be temporary, and hopefully these diseases will not be seen due to the weather and will not enter the Gaza Strip, but this is a great burden on schools."