Gaza hospitals on verge of collapse, 2nd full lockdown considered

“The health system in the Gaza Strip may collapse if the number of coronavirus infections continues to increase,” said Abdelnaser Soboh of the World Health Organization.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

Hamas authorities in Gaza are considering imposing a second full lockdown as health officials warn that the medical system could be overwhelmed within days.

Salameh Maarouf, head of the Government Media Office in Gaza, said on Sunday that a full lockdown in the Gaza Strip is being considered in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“A comprehensive closure may be the last solution for the authorities in Gaza if the citizens’ recklessness and their failure to adhere to safety measures continues, but we hope that we will not reach this option,” Abdelnaser Soboh, director of the World Health Organization’s Gaza office, told the Alray news agency.

“The health system in the Gaza Strip may collapse if the number of coronavirus infections continues to increase,” Soboh said, adding that coronavirus tests are currently returning positive results 21% to 29% of the time.

Abdelraouf Elmanama, a microbiologist and member of Gaza’s coronavirus task force, said that 79 of Gaza’s 100 ventilators are currently being used by coronavirus patients.

Elmanama said that within 10 days, if cases continue to rise at the current rate, the health system will be unable to absorb the new cases and patients who need intensive care may not find room in hospitals, leading to a rise in the current 0.05% death rate among coronavirus patients.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza reported Monday morning that 69 of Gaza’s 1.9 million residents have died of coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic, with four of those deaths occurring within the past 24 hours.

The ministry reported 689 new cases, bringing the current total of active cases to 6,004 with 92 of those cases in serious condition.

The number of confirmed cases in Gaza since the pandemic began is 15,457.

In addition to considering a second lockdown, Hamas is also diverting the attention of Gaza’s residents toward Israel with renewed rocket attacks, a strategy the terror group also utilized during the first lockdown.