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Palestinians Report First Coronavirus Death in Gaza

FILE PHOTO: A Palestinian woman looks out from a school used as a quarantine facility amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the southern Gaza Strip April 23, 2020. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

FILE PHOTO: A Palestinian woman looks out from a school used as a quarantine facility amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the southern Gaza Strip April 23, 2020. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

The 77-year-old woman had suffered from a prior chronic illness and had travelled to Gaza through neighbouring Egypt on May 19.

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

Blockaded and short on medical facilities, Gaza, run by the Islamist group Hamas, has reported only 55 coronavirus infection cases among its population of two million. Meanwhile, in the Israeli occupied West Bank, where Palestinians have limited self-rule, 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.