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Gaza: Healthcare system could collapse, warns health ministry

March 26, 2020 at 10:31 am

A pharmacy in Gaza stock up on face masks due to the coronavirus outbreak, 7 March 2020 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza warned on Wednesday of the collapse of the healthcare system due to the strict 14-year Israeli siege, Al-Mujtama Magazine reported.

In an exclusive interview with the magazine, the Spokesman of the Ministry of Health Ashraf Al-Qidra warned that the coastal enclave is on the edge of an eminent disaster due to the lack of necessary equipment and facilities amidst the fight against the novel coronavirus.

“The Gaza Strip is a very fragile area as it is the most densely populated place on earth,” Al-Qidra said, noting that there are 5,500 people per square kilometre.

READ: Palestine reports first death from coronavirus

“This makes it a ticking bomb,” Al-Qidra said. “If only one Gaza resident is infected with coronavirus, there would be a disaster as this infected person would easily and quickly mix with hundreds of people,” he explained.

Al-Qidra blamed the Israeli occupation for the dilapidation of the healthcare system in the Gaza Strip which means disease spreads easily due to the severe shortage of respiratory systems, intensive care units and medicine.

In light of serious fears over the arrival of coronavirus to the Gaza Strip, Al-Qidra called for the whole world to bear responsibility in protecting its 2 million residents.

Coronavirus is affecting the world's economy - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Coronavirus is affecting the world’s economy – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]