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Gaza sees 23 COVID deaths in past 24 hours in deadliest day since start of pandemic

A medical worker of UNRWA gives a shot of the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine at UNRWA's clinic in the Rafah, in the southern Gaza, on March 3, 2021. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
A medical worker of UNRWA gives a shot of the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine at UNRWA's clinic in the Rafah, in the southern Gaza, on March 3, 2021. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Gaza saw 23 deaths from coronavirus in the past 24 hours, making Saturday the deadliest day since the start of the pandemic, the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry announces.

Around 41% of coronavirus tests came back positive on Saturday. The high number is likely due to limited testing, as Gaza has only one main laboratory for processing coronavirus tests.

The coastal enclave currently has 20,178 active coronavirus infections, having more than tripled since the beginning of April. Health officials blame the fast-spreading British coronavirus variant for the uptick, as well as poor monitoring by officials at the newly re-opened Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

As cases rose in Gaza, Hamas ordered tighter restrictions — including closing schools and imposing a nightly curfew — a week and a half ago.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 90,088 Gazans are known to have been infected with coronavirus and 761 have died. Gaza health officials, however, estimate that the true infection rate is much higher.

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