Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi tests positive for coronavirus

Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi tests positive for coronavirus
Dr Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO’s executive committee, has tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the second Palestinian official to be infected within a week.
2 min read
12 October, 2020
Dr Hanan Ashrawi is ill with coronavirus [Getty]

Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday, becoming the second high-ranking PLO member to do so in the past seven days.

The PLO's Department of Diplomacy and Policy said that all Dr Ashrawi's commitments would be cancelled until she had recovered and wished her a speedy return to health.

Ashrawi, 74, is a prominent member of the PLO's Executive Committee, known for her independent views and avid support of non-violent resistance to occupation.

In 1994, she founded the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights.

Last Wednesday, 65-year-old Saeb Erekat, the Secretary-General of the PLO Executive Committee, also tested positive for coronavirus.

He said later on Twitter that his condition was under control, and that he was being treated by his daughter Salam Erekat, who is a physician. There is heightened concern over his health due to a lung transplant he received in 2017, in the US.

Read also: How Palestine's Red Crescent is taking charge of the coronavirus response

On Sunday, the Palestinian Authority's Health Minister, Mai Al-Kaila, announced that there had been 422 new cases of coronavirus and three deaths in the past 24 hours.

Al-Kaila added that 41 people were in intensive care, on respirators.

There have been over 55,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the occupied Palestinian territories since the pandemic began, as well we 445 deaths, according to the charity Medical Aid for Palestinians.

Israel has previously hampered Palestinian efforts to combat the virus, confiscating tents meant for field hospitals and dismantling a testing centre near the city of Hebron.

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