RAMALLAH, Thursday, February 20, 2020 (WAFA) – A coronavirus scare last night caused Palestinian patients at Jericho hospital in the occupied West Bank to leave the hospital and people to hold a protest outside it against what they claimed was keeping them in the dark about possible cases of coronavirus at the hospital, according to witnesses.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health was quick to deny the existence of any coronavirus cases at the hospital or in Palestine in general.
Witnesses said patients at the public hospital quickly left it following rumors that four people who came back from China were placed in a quarantine inside the hospital.
Minister of Health Mai Keileh told WAFA that, in accordance with World Health Organization (WHO) instructions to combat coronavirus worldwide, anyone coming from China or the seven other infected countries will be put in quarantine for 14 days, and that since Jericho hospital was the closest to Allenby/King Hussein/Karama bridge crossing with Jordan, arrival from these countries are taken there until it is decided that they are not infected with the fatal virus.
She said nine people were admitted to the hospital in the last weeks and only four have remained after the rest were diagnosed free of the virus. The four are the new arrivals.
In order to ease people’s minds, who protested outside the hospital and burnt tires for being kept in the dark about the presence of coronavirus patients at the hospital, the minister said it was decided to move the four patients to another quarantine near the hospital but separate from it.
She stressed, nevertheless, that keeping them there is normal procedure and that Palestine was free of any coronavirus case, as also confirmed by WHO.