77-year-old Palestinian woman dies in 'first coronavirus-related death in Gaza'

77-year-old Palestinian woman dies in 'first coronavirus-related death in Gaza'
Palestinians recorded the first coronavirus-related death in Gaza, increasing the total virus deaths inside Palestinian territories to five.
2 min read
23 May, 2020
In Gaza, Israel's occupation includes a 10-year land, air and sea blockade [Getty]
Gazans confirmed their first coronavirus-related death in the strip, Reuters reported on Saturday, after the Palestinian health ministry said a 77-year-old woman had died of Covid-19 in hospital.

According to the health authority, the woman had several underlying chronic illnesses and had been placed at a special field hospital near the Rafah border crossing point upon arriving from Egypt.

The recent death brought the number of total deaths caused by coronavirus infection in Palestinian territories to five.

Gaza's authorities reported 35 confirmed new cases this week, bringing the total to 55. All confirmed cases were isolated in quarantine facilities which are hosting returnees from abroad.

Hamas – the local authority in Gaza – has enforced mandatory quarantine at hotels, schools and isolation centres for all returnees from Egypt and Israel.

According to Reuters, community transmission of the virus is yet to be recorded in Gaza.

Home to 2 million people, the Gaza Strip, which is blockaded by Israel, suffers from limited medical supplies and reportedly has only 60 ventilators.

Read also: Hamas says Gaza could be locked down for Eid amid rise in coronavirus cases

The impoverished Palestinian enclave had previously managed to keep the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases lower than 20, after closing borders with both Israel and Egypt. In recent days, nearly 1,500 Palestinian were permitted to return. 

The re-opening caused a hike in confirmed cases, prompting warning from Hamas official Khalil al Hayya who said Gaza would impose a full lockdown if coronavirus cases continue to rise in the strip.

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