Virus cases spike in Israel-blockaded Gaza: Ministry

first_imgThe number of novel coronavirus cases in the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip have risen tenfold over the past two weeks, bringing the total to over 1,000, Palestinian officials said Monday.In the past 24 hours, 182 infections were registered in the coastal enclave, bringing the number of cases to 1,151, including eight deaths, the Palestinian Authority health ministry said.The crowded and impoverished Gaza Strip had maintained low infection rates since the start of the pandemic, as it remained isolated from much of the world. The narrow territory is sealed off by a formidable security barrier on its landward sides, with just two crossing points: one into Israel and the other into Egypt.But crossings at both points were blocked in March, with few exceptions.Gazans stuck outside the enclave were allowed to return home, but had to be isolated for three weeks in quarantine centers.Four virus cases were detected at the end of August outside these centers as tensions flared between Israel and Palestinian fighters in  Hamas-controlled Gaza, sparking concern of a rise in infections and forcing the closure of schools, mosques and markets.During the flare-up, Israel bombed Gaza almost daily from August 6 in response to rocket attacks and the launch of so-called fire balloons — homemade incendiary devices.Amid the fighting, Israel tightened its Gaza blockade by closing the Kerem Shalom goods crossing and stopping fuel deliveries, exacerbating Gaza’s daily power outages.The Palestinian health ministry on Monday also reported that 26,633 coronavirus cases so far have been registered across the Israeli-occupied West Bank, including 178 deaths.Topics :last_img read more

No concern for developers in Redlands as land sales surge

first_imgAusbuild managing director Matthew Bell says there is plenty of steam left in the Queensland market with sales surging ahead in the Redlands. Photographer: Liam Kidston.THE Brisbane land market is expected to continue to power ahead despite national concerns that building approvals peaked last year. Ausbuild joint managing director Matthew Bell said there was a lot of strength still left in the Brisbane market, with the Redlands area proving to be quite a powerhouse.“On a national basis Sydney and Melbourne influence those figures strongly, but I’m confident the local marketplace has a lot of steam left in it,” he said.“We haven’t yet seen the heights of price growth that the southern states have seen and therefore our position is much stronger from an affordability perspective, which is key in most buyers minds.” Esperance estate, Thornlands. Photographer: Liam Kidston.Mr Bell said land within 25km of the CBD and infill subdivisions were still very strong.“With the economic position here still being relatively strong from wage growth and the current interest rate environment, there would have to be significant change in either of these factors to negatively influence the growth rates.”Ausbuild has a strong interest in the Redlands, having developed there for more than 20 years.Mr Bell said it was an interesting marketplace because of its lifestyle appeal and proximity to the water.“Redlands itself, over the years, has benefited from strong infrastructure and transport investment with more businesses establishing themselves within the community,” Mr Bell said.“So what we’ve found is that it’s never oversupplied with development … the supply and demand equation has always upheld the value of property in the Redlands area.”“It’s the lifestyle that attracts the buyers to Redlands and now we have strong community and businesses basing themselves in Redlands.” More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home4 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor4 hours agoAusbuild display home at the Esperance estate, Thornlands. Photographer: Liam Kidston.Ausbuild has four major land estates in Thornlands, with Esperance and Majestic, both almost completely sold out, and Altitude and Kinross recently launched.Mr Bell said a strong majority of buyers they had sold to over the last five or six years were coming from within 5kms of where the developments were based.Mr Bell said Esperance was the company’s flagship development, appealing to a wide cross-section of buyers, bringing a lot of diversity to the community.With a wide range of allotment size, Mr Bell said the estate enabled a broad cross section of buyers including young first-home buyers who had grown up in the Redlands, the ability to buy into the area when they would normally not be able to afford to remain in the area.“A lot of first-home buyers here have grown up in the Redlands, they have their parents here, their friends here and they seek employment here, they don’t really want to leave,” Mr Bell said.“Yet often the new subdivisions are out of reach of their budget.”The newly launched Altitude was designed to appeal to a different buyer profile, with 52 lots ranging in size from 350sq m to 1000sq m, and a strong uptake on the seven larger blocks since launch last month.center_img Ausbuild display home at the Esperance estate, Thornlands. Photographer: Liam Kidston.“This is a segment of the market that we usually can’t appeal to because of estate lot size restraints, but it’s a segment where third and fourth home buyers still want this larger size lot.“We find that the downsizers and often the first home buyers are looking for low maintenance housing product and that’s where we try and get as much mix into an estate as we can,” he said.“But whenever we do produce lots over 600sq m we get strong demand.”Kinross is bringing more diversity to Ausbuild’s portfolio with the first stage launched in what will be a 76 lot subdivision.“This estate has a bit of a bushland feel, it’s very rural,” Mr Bell said.“We really understand the Redlands buyer and hence have a strong pipeline of development in front of us.“Ausbuild has been in the Redlands for more than two decades and it’s obvious the move to urban communities is not just a passing trend — but a societal shift that is gaining momentum.”last_img read more