Gaza confirm first two COVID-19 cases

GAZA CITY: Authorities in Gaza confirmed the first two cases of novel coronavirus on Sunday, identifying the individuals as Palestinians who had travelled to Pakistan and were held in quarantine on their return.

“These two cases were recorded among those who returned to Gaza … (and) did not mix with the residents of the Gaza Strip,” deputy health minister Yousef Abu Al-Reesh told reporters.

The sick, identified as two men, were in stable condition, the health ministry said.

Israel has enforced a blockade on Gaza since 2007, when Islamist group Hamas seized control of the territory.

Movement in and out of the territory — severely restricted by Israel and Egypt before the pandemic — has tightened in response to the COVID-19.

Authorities in Gaza have said that more than 2,700 Palestinians are in home-isolation, mostly people who had returned from Egypt.

It is not yet clear if Israel, which has imposed tight restrictions on its own population in response to the pandemic, will allow an ill coronavirus patients to be transferred from the Strip.

AFP

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