The coronavirus crisis appears to begin taking its toll on the Palestinians as the authorities in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank report a rise in the number of new cases.
In the Gaza Strip, another seven have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number to nine, health officials in the enclave said Thursday.
The newly-diagnosed appear to be police officers who came into contact with the two patients who crossed into the Gaza Strip last week from Pakistan via Egypt, through the Rafah crossing.
The seven have been in quarantine since the epidemiological investigation revealed they had been in contact with the two patients who arrived from Egypt.
According to sources in the enclave, Hamas is considering putting Gaza in lockdown and imposing a curfew similar to the one imposed in the West Bank by the Palestinian Authority.
Two more people have also tested positive for the virus in the West Bank, bringing the tally to 62, the PA health officials confirmed on Thursday.
The two are relatives of the Palestinian woman who died on Wednesday from complications related to the virus
Her son, who worked as a laborer in Israel, has also tested positive for the illness.
Earlier, the Palestinian government has ordered home Palestinian laborers in Israel and in settlements in the West Bank, saying their jobs exposed them to the risk of the coronavirus.
The edict, announced late on Tuesday by Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, could effectively shut down Israel's construction industry, heavily reliant on Palestinian labor.
Palestinian workers earn more for equivalent work in Israel than in Palestinian cities. But officials have voiced concerns in recent weeks that they could contract and spread the disease when they return home.
Reuters contributed to this report