World, Middle East

4 Palestinian prisoners infected with COVID-19, says NGO

Virus transmitted to inmates in Israeli prison by prisoner interrogated by Israeli investigator

Qais Abu Samra   | 19.03.2020
4 Palestinian prisoners infected with COVID-19, says NGO

RAMALLAH

The Palestinian Prisoner Society said Thursday that four Palestinian inmates contracted the new coronavirus in an Israeli prison.

In a press release, the non-governmental organization said the Israel Prison Service informed that the prisoners caught the virus in Megiddo Prison, which was transmitted to detainees by a prisoner who was interrogated by an Israeli investigator at the Petah Tikva Investigation Center.

"The detainees face the risk of infection from the jailers and investigators who pose a threat to their lives," the NGO added.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh on Saturday asked the Israeli authorities to immediately release the Palestinian prisoners languishing in the Israeli jails.

Shtayyeh asserted that the release should include child prisoners and those suffering from chronic diseases.

According to Palestinian authorities, 5,000 Palestinians, including women and children, are currently held in Israeli detention facilities.

The virus, which originated in China last December, has now spread to 164 countries and territories, the World Health Organization data shows.

Out of over 219,000 confirmed cases, the death toll is now nearly 9,000, while more than 84,000 have recovered, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University in the U.S.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, is not fatal in all cases and a vast majority of patients do fully recover.

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