First coronavirus cases confirmed in the Gaza Strip

Palestinians spray disinfectant as a precaution against the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, in Gaza City, 19 March 2020. EPA-EFE/MOHAMMED SABER

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The first two cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the densely-populated Gaza Strip, Palestinian health officials said on Sunday.

Two Palestinians who had travelled from Pakistan and entered Gaza through Egypt had tested positive for the virus late on Saturday and have been in quarantine in Rafah, a town near the Egyptian border, since their arrival on Thursday, the Gaza health ministry said.

Schools, public markets and event halls have all been shut in Gaza over the past two weeks to minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission.

Last week Hamas said it would allow only patients requiring urgent medical treatment outside Gaza to cross into Egypt or Israel. According to the Palestinian health ministry 53 people coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the occupied West Bank.

Read more via Reuters

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