RAMALLAH, Palestine 

The Palestinian Authority on Friday started a total lockdown in the West Bank lasting five days, subject to renewal, to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Palestinian security forces set up checkpoints at the entrances to cities and villages of the West Bank along with deploying emergency teams in areas not under Palestinian Authority control.

As of Thursday, coronavirus infections in Palestine reached 3,417, including 12 deaths and 634 recoveries.

The Palestinian Religious Affairs Ministry also announced the closure of mosques and a ban on mass prayers in mosques and churches.

In mid-June, the Health Ministry said that Palestine is facing a second wave of the coronavirus, with infections rapidly rising.

* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara.

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