Health experts in the Gaza Strip are sounding the alarm, saying the pandemic could soon rage out of control with hospitals there are wholly unprepared for the situation, and doctors are pleading for international help.
After much effort, the Gaza Health Ministry was recently able to increase the number of hospital beds dedicated to COVID-19 patients from 100 to 150. In the coming week, it hopes to add another 30 beds. But those exertions will likely be of little help if the coronavirus continues to spread at its current pace.
“There is no infrastructure to combat epidemics or crises in the Gaza Strip,” said Iyad Abu Karsh of the Health Ministry. Unless the international community fails to step in and help, he said the pandemic could turn into a humanitarian catastrophe.
Infection rates are skyrocketing, with more than 1,800 new cases being registered across the Palestinian territories — Gaza and the West Bank — each day. In all, more than 81,000 infections and 700 deaths have been registered here since the outbreak began.
Main Photo: Palestinians wait to get their swab samples collected before travelling through Rafah border in Gaza City. EPA-EFE/MOHAMMED SABER
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