Red Cross: Gaza will not be able to deal with coronavirus pandemic

Palestinian staff take part in training against the corona virus (Mohammed Asad - MEMO)

Middle East Monitor  /  August 28, 2020

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned on Wednesday that the health care system in the besieged Gaza Strip will not be able to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

ICRC Gaza Director, Ignacio Casares Garcia, said in a statement that the healthcare system in Gaza would not be able to deal with more than a few dozen coronavirus patients, adding that the treatment of COVID-19 patients requires medical and laboratory equipment and special supplies and medications that are not available in hospitals and health centres in the besieged enclave in sufficient quantities.

“The population of Gaza is under terrible strain. People are stressed; not only are they coping with just four hours of electricity a day; their worries over the virus have been hugely compounded and they are now under lockdown,” the statement said, adding: “Gaza had managed to prevent community transmission of the virus through a strict quarantine regime that had seemingly worked well until this week. That changed on Monday, with the announcement of confirmed cases outside of quarantine centers.”

The statement affirmed the ICRC’s unwavering support for the residents of Gaza Strip in facing the coronavirus, stressing on the need for all possible international assistance to confront the crisis.

The statement urged the residents of the Gaza Strip to strictly comply with the preventive measures taken to halt the outbreak of coronavirus.

“The ICRC has provided supplies and equipment, including vital ICU equipment, chlorine, personal protective equipment (PPE) and hospital supplies, and carried out infrastructure improvements in the hospital assigned to treat COVID19 patients in Gaza. More PPE is available and will be provided to the authorities soon,” it added.