In Gaza, the first two coronavirus cases were announced Saturday. Authorities have shut down restaurants and cafes and suspended Friday prayers as residents fear an outbreak will further cripple a health system already suffering from Israel’s blockade, which causes constant shortages of medicine and poor sanitation services. With a population of over 1.8 million people, the besieged Gaza Strip is also one of the most densely populated places on Earth and has often been called an “open-air prison.”
Meanwhile, shelter-in-place orders were announced in the occupied West Bank, where around 60 cases have been reported.
On Sunday, Syria announced its first confirmed case of COVID-19 as humanitarian groups warn of the catastrophic effects the disease will have in the war-torn country.
In Afghanistan, a health official confirmed the country’s first coronavirus-related death Sunday.