GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The Gaza Strip has recorded the highest daily deaths since the coronavirus broke out in the Palestinian enclave.
The Health Ministry reported Monday that 17 Palestinians have died from COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 694.
Gaza is under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade and its Hamas rulers had managed to keep it relatively free of the virus by imposing obligatory quarantine on the few dozens returnees who cross in via Israel or Egypt.
But in August, the virus escaped the walls of the isolation centers and spread rapidly. After a significant decrease of infections in February, Hamas removed all precautionary measures and cases resurged.
The vaccination rollout is limited. The territory of 2 million people has received vaccines for only 40,000 people, including a shipment via the global COVAX program.