PA testing for new COVID-19 strain

PA starts taking samples in Judea and Samaria to test for new strain of the novel coronavirus.

Tags: PA Coronavirus
Elad Benari ,

Coronavirus strain
Coronavirus strain

The Palestinian Authority has started taking samples in Judea and Samaria to test for the new strain of the novel coronavirus, a senior official said on Sunday, according to the Xinhua news agency.

The Director General of Supportive Medical Services at the PA “health ministry” told reporters during a press conference held in Ramallah that the PA has not recorded any cases infected with the new strain.

"However, we may record cases infected with the new strain because it has already arrived in Israel and the Palestinians are in contact with Israelis," the official added.

The new strain was first discovered in Britain, causing the country to announce a stay at home order for part of the country.

In addition, several countries have temporarily stopped flights from Britain in an attempt to stop the variant from reaching these countries.

Cases of the strain have also been identified in several US states.

Meanwhile on Sunday, the PA reported 1,155 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to 159,034.

31 fatalities from the virus were reported, raising the total number of deaths to 1,609.

PA officials announced last month that they expect to receive four million coronavirus vaccines from Russia.

Last week, a senior PA health official announced that the PA was in touch with the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as several international companies which produce vaccines, and asked for a speedy delivery.