Palestine makes progress in efforts to obtain coronavirus vaccine: PM

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye said on Monday that great progress has been made in the government’s efforts to obtain the coronavirus vaccine.

During the weekly cabinet meeting, Ishtaye said, “We made significant progress in the contacts, which were successful, in relation to obtaining the vaccines, either through the COVAX scheme, or through multinational companies that produce the vaccines.”

COVAX is an international coronavirus vaccine scheme, co-led by the World Health Organization and its partners.

In February, Palestine started COVID-19 vaccination in the West Bank after receiving 2,000 doses of Moderna vaccines from Israel.

So far, a delivery of 10,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines has arrived in the West Bank, 2,000 of which have been dispatched to the Gaza Strip. The Gaza Strip has also received a total of 60,000 Russian vaccines donated by the United Arab Emirates.

Palestine on Saturday announced a decision to extend the full lockdown on the West Bank for five more days, starting on March 15, amid increasing daily COVID-19 cases and deaths.

On Monday, Palestine recorded 2,298 new COVID-19 cases, 22 more deaths and 1,356 recoveries in the last 24 hours in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, according to the Health Ministry.

Currently, 181 coronavirus patients remain in intensive care, including 53 who are on ventilators, the ministry said.