In recent weeks, preventive measures had been relaxed in Gaza, with cafes and restaurants allowed to reopen [Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters]

Authorities in Gaza have reported the first novel coronavirus fatality in the besieged territory, after a sharp rise in confirmed infections in recent days.

“Fadila Muhammad Abu Raida, 77, from the Khan Younes governorate, died in isolation in hospital at the Rafah Crossing due to her infection with coronavirus,” the health ministry said on Saturday.

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A wave of coronavirus infections among residents returning to Gaza has more than doubled the number of cases in the coastal enclave in recent days, raising fears of a bigger outbreak.

Gaza had managed to limit the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to no more than 20,

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