The Palestinian Authority “Health Ministry” announced on Saturday night that two residents of Gaza who returned recently from Pakistan tested positive for the coronavirus, the first cases to be diagnosed in the territory, The Associated Press reported.
The ministry said the two had been moved to isolation at a hospital in Rafah in southern Gaza.
Reshet Bet radio reported on Saturday night that until further notice, all restaurants, cafes and wedding venues in the Gaza Strip have been closed, and Friday prayers in mosques have been suspended.
Until now there had been no reported cases of coronavirus in Gaza, where local authorities last week declared a new set of precautionary measures amid concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus in the coastal enclave.
At the same time, dozens of cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Palestinian Authority-assigned areas of Judea and Samaria, which is run by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction.
Most of the cases of coronavirus in the PA have been recorded in the city of Bethlehem.
AP reported that hundreds of Gazans have returned home in the past two weeks, but only 92 people have been examined, highlighting the territory's limited tested capacity.