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Palestinians confirm first coronavirus cases in Gaza

2 people test positive for coronavirus after returning from Pakistan

Hani al-Shaer   | 22.03.2020
Palestinians confirm first coronavirus cases in Gaza

GAZA CITY, Palestine

The Palestinian Health Ministry has confirmed the first two cases of coronavirus in the Gaza Strip.

Two people tested positive for the virus after returning from Pakistan, health official Yusuf Abo al-Reish told a press conference in Gaza City early Sunday. 

He said the two patients have been quarantined after crossing the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt on Thursday.

Home to around 2 million people, the Gaza Strip has been reeling under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2007.

Palestinian authorities have already reported 53 coronavirus cases in the occupied West Bank, including 17 recoveries.

The virus, which causes the disease known as COVID-19, emerged in Wuhan, China last December, and has spread to at least 166 countries and territories, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

Out of over 307,000 confirmed cases, the death toll now exceeds 13,000, and more than 92,000 have recovered.

Despite the rising number of cases, most of the people who contract the virus suffer only mild symptoms before making a recovery.

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