The Palestinian Authorities were one of the first governments on Earth to close their borders. After a number of visitors to a Bethlehem hotel reported coronavirus symptoms, the Palestinian Authorities opted for the economically painful solution of restricting access by closing borders.
This solution appears to have had some success as the number of active COVID-19 cases–patients who have not yet recovered–dropped to 31. A government statement on Saturday, March 21 reported four new cases, bringing the total to 35. Whether the Palestinian Authorities are able to contain the spread of the virus in the densely populated area remains to be seen.
Other nations have similarly imposed travel restrictions across the Middle East and North Africa, and most borders have now been shut. The Palestinian example provides some hope that this method will assist in reducing the global spread while allowing national authorities to identify and treat cases within their country.
An overview of the COVID-19 Pandemic’s impact on the MENA-region