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May 23, 2020 2:09 pm

Palestinians Report First Coronavirus Death in Gaza

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Hamas members wear protective gear as a precaution against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, April 13, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Ibraheem Abu Mustafa.

A woman has died in the Gaza Strip after contracting coronavirus, the Palestinian enclave’s first known fatality from the global pandemic, the health ministry said on Saturday.

Gaza, run by the Islamist group Hamas, has reported only 55 coronavirus infection cases among its population of two million. Meanwhile, in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank there have been two deaths and 423 cases.

The Gaza health ministry described the fatality as a 77-year-old woman who had entered via the Egyptian border on May 19 and had been kept in quarantine since. She suffered from a prior chronic illness, the ministry said.

Hamas, which has run Gaza since 2007, has closed crossings with Egypt and Israel except for essential traffic, but unlike in the West Bank it said a full lockdown was not yet needed.

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