Gaza opens Egypt crossing to returnees despite virus

Gaza opens Egypt crossing to returnees despite virus
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Security forces loyal Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas, wearing personal protective equipment as a precaution against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, wait at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, in the southern Gaza Strip on April 13, 2020, to inspect any travellers crossing into the Palestinian enclave. (AFP)
Gaza opens Egypt crossing to returnees despite virus
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An ambulance drives past a member of the security forces loyal Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas, wearing personal protective equipment as a precaution against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, in the southern Gaza Strip on April 13, 2020, after the crossing was temporarily reopened for four days. (AFP)
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Updated 13 April 2020

Gaza opens Egypt crossing to returnees despite virus

Gaza opens Egypt crossing to returnees despite virus
  • One-way traffic through the Rafah crossing would be allowed for the coming four days, Gaza’s interior ministry said

RAFAH: Gaza’s Hamas-run government on Monday temporarily re-opened the border crossing with Egypt, shut due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, to allow hundreds of Palestinians to return.
One-way traffic into the coastal enclave through the Rafah crossing would be allowed for the coming four days, Gaza’s interior ministry said.
All those returning would be put into compulsory 21-day quarantine which could be extended, interior ministry spokesman Iyad Al-Bozm said.
So far, only 13 COVID-19 infections have been confirmed in Gaza, all from people returning to the territory or those in contact with them while in quarantine.
But the Strip, under an Israeli-imposed blockade since 2007, is one of the most densely-populated territories on earth and has a struggling health system.
Hamas has imposed a series of measures including closing markets, schools and mosques.
Gaza, ruled by the Islamist group since 2007, had run out of COVID-19 testing kits last week but the World Health Organization delivered 480 kits on Sunday.
At the Rafah arrivals hall on Monday, returning residents were met by dozens of police officers, doctors and nurses wearing protective medical equipment.
Among the returnees were students and people who had been outside Gaza for treatment for other diseases, said doctor Mohamed Abu Salamieh.
The Rafah border crossing with Egypt is the only exit from Gaza apart from into Israel.