Nearly half of coronavirus tests in Gaza return positive in past day

As coronavirus cases mount in the Gaza Strip, the coastal enclave saw 44.8% of coronavirus tests come back positive in the past 24 hours, the Hamas Health Ministry announces.

According to Health Ministry figures, the Gaza Strip currently has 8,851 active coronavirus infections, and 220 Gazans have died from the virus since the start of the pandemic.

A Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health worker tests the coronavirus at a health center in Rafah, a town in the southern Gaza Strip, on November 25, 2020.(Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Hamas health officials have warned that Gaza’s medical system could collapse under the strain of the outbreak. Designated coronavirus wards have overflowed, and critical coronavirus patients are now being placed beside regular patients in the hospitals, the Hamas Health Ministry said yesterday in a statement.

The number of identified infections has dropped over the past week, likely due to extremely low testing — occasionally no more than several hundred tests a day. The enclave’s central laboratory also stopped processing new tests for two consecutive days last week due to a temporary shortage of test kits.

Aaron Boxerman