- Title: Gaza's health system days from being overwhelmed by COVID-19, advisers say
- Date: 22nd November 2020
- Summary: GAZA CITY, GAZA (NOVEMBER 22, 2020) (REUTERS) GRAFFITI OF CORONAVIRUS AT WALL IN GAZA PEOPLE WEARING FACE MASKS PASSING BY GRAFFITI VARIOUS OF MICROBIOLOGIST WHO IS PART OF THE ENCLAVE'S PANDEMIC TASK FORCE, ABDELRAOUF ELMANAMA, WRITING NOTES ELMANAMA TAKING OFF MASK (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MICROBIOLOGIST WHO IS PART OF THE ENCLAVE'S PANDEMIC TASK FORCE, ABDELRAOUF ELMANAMA, SAYING: "The ministry of health is experiencing an unprecedented situation because of the rising number in the active (coronavirus) cases in the Gaza Strip. The beds in the intensive care units are running out." ELMANAMA (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MICROBIOLOGIST WHO IS PART OF THE ENCLAVE'S PANDEMIC TASK FORCE, ABDELRAOUF ELMANAMA, SAYING: "Within a short time all beds will become occupied and there will be no space to receive more patients. Therefore the only option for the authority which is running this situation is to call for full lockdown in the Strip within days if the situation will continue to escalate." AMBULANCE DRIVING OUT OF HOSPITAL PEOPLE WEARING MASKS OUTSIDE HOSPITAL 10 SIGN READING IN (Arabic): 'FORBIDDEN TO ENTER HOSPITAL WITHOUT FACE MASK' EMERGENCY HEALTH LEAD IN THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION'S (WHO) GAZA SUB-OFFICE, ABDELNASER SOBOH, TALKING OVER MOBILE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) EMERGENCY HEALTH LEAD IN THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION'S GAZA SUB-OFFICE, ABDELNASER SOBOH, SAYING: "The range of virus spreading and the spread of dangerous and critical cases are threatening to occupy all the remaining beds in the European Gaza hospital within seven days." WHO LOGO (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) EMERGENCY HEALTH LEAD IN THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION'S GAZA SUB-OFFICE, ABDELNASER SOBOH, SAYING: "In the past two weeks it was noted that the high numbers for people who are being affected (with coronavirus) are people with the age of 60 and above, this category of people needs to be in the hospital because they suffer from other diseases." VARIOUS OF TRAFFIC POLICE AT STREET NO ENTRY SIGN
- Embargoed: 6th December 2020 13:32
- Keywords: COVID-19 Gaza Israel Palestinians
- Location: GAZA CITY, GAZA
- City: GAZA CITY, GAZA
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Health/Medicine,Middle East
- Reuters ID: LVA001D5NFKG7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A sharp rise in coronavirus infections in the Gaza Strip could overwhelm the Palestinian enclave's meagre medical system by next week, public health advisers said on Sunday (November 22).
Gaza, where the dense and poor population of 2 million is vulnerable to contagions, has logged 14,000 coronavirus cases and 65 deaths, mostly since August.
Seventy-nine of Gaza's 100 ventilators have been taken up by COVID-19 patients, said Abdelraouf Elmanama, a microbiologist who is part of the enclave's pandemic task force.
Gaza's Islamist Hamas rulers have so far imposed one lockdown. A long-standing Israeli blockade, which is supported by neighbouring Egypt, has crippled the Gazan economy and undermined its public health apparatus.
Israel says it is trying to keep weapons from reaching Hamas, against which it has fought three wars and whose facilities it struck earlier on Sunday in retaliation for a Palestinian rocket launch against one of its southern cities.
"We are not giving Hamas any 'coronavirus discounts'," Israeli cabinet minister Izhar Shay told Army Radio. "We will continue responding as appropriate."
But Shay said Israel was enabling international humanitarian aid to reach Gaza, adding: "This is the level that we can preserve in the coronavirus context."
Abdelnaser Soboh, emergency health lead in the World Health Organization's Gaza sub-office, cautioned, however, that "the spread of dangerous and critical cases are threatening to occupy all the left beds in the European Gaza hospital within seven days".
The infection rate among those being tested was 21%, with a relative increase in carriers over the age of 60, he said.
(Production: Fadi Shana, Arafat Barbakh, Mustafa Abu Ganeyeh)
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