Covid-19: Palestinians report first cases of coronavirus in Gaza Strip

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Palestinians, report, first, cases, coronavirus, Gaza Strip
Workers wearing protective gear spray disinfectant as a precaution against the coronavirus, at the main market in Gaza City.-AP

Gaza City, Gaza Strip - The development added to fears of a potential outbreak in crowded Gaza.

By AP

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Published: Sun 22 Mar 2020, 9:00 AM

Last updated: Sun 22 Mar 2020, 11:06 AM

The Palestinian Health Ministry announced early on Sunday, March 22, that two residents who returned recently from Pakistan to the Gaza Strip tested positive for the coronavirus, the first cases to be diagnosed in the Palestinian enclave.
The development added to fears of a potential outbreak in crowded Gaza, which has an overstretched health care system.
Hundreds of Gazans have returned home in the past two weeks, but only 92 people have been examined, highlighting the territory's limited tested capacity.
The ministry said the cases were two people who returned recently from Pakistan. It said they had been moved to isolation at a hospital in Rafah, a city in the southern Gaza Strip.
More than 1,270 people are quarantined at hospitals, hotels and schools after crossing into Gaza from Israel and Egypt, the ministry said. On Saturday, Hamas' Interior Ministry shut down wedding halls and banned weekly street markets as precautionary measures.
No deaths from the virus have been reported in the Palestinian areas. In the West Bank, 55 cases have been diagnosed, with 17 recovering, the ministry said. Most of the cases were in the city of Bethlehem.
The vast majority of infected people recover from the virus. For most, it produces only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But the coronavirus can cause severe illness, including pneumonia, and even death, for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems.
 



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