Palestinian officials have announced the first two cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, in the besieged Gaza Strip.
Deputy Health Minister Youssef Abulreesh said late on Saturday that the two Palestinian patients had returned from Pakistan via Gaza’s Rafah border with neighbouring Egypt on Thursday.
The pair exhibited symptoms of the illness, which include a dry cough and high fever, Abulreesh told a press conference.
He added that the two were placed in quarantine upon arrival and are now in a field hospital in the border town of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip.
Abulreesh urged Gaza’s nearly two million residents to take precautionary measures and to practise social distancing by staying home in a bid to halt the potential spread of the virus.