A human rights center warns of the collapse of health conditions in the event of the "Corona" outbreak in Gaza

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights has warned of a catastrophic deterioration that may afflict the Gaza Strip in the event of the outbreak of the new Corona Virus Covid-19, expressing its fear that the health system in the Gaza Strip will not be able to deal with patients in the event of an epidemic, The occupation held the primary responsibility for providing medical supplies to the people of the Gaza Strip, and taking all necessary preventive measures.

According to the center’s follow-up, health facilities in the Gaza Strip are already suffering from a serious deterioration due to the policy of the blockade imposed by the occupation authorities on the Gaza Strip 13 years ago, as well as the repercussions of the internal Palestinian division and political conflicts, and as a result the fragility of the health system in the Gaza Strip, And a permanent shortage in the list of essential drugs and medical devices, and a shortage of specialized medical staff, which made him, in normal times, unable to meet the basic medical needs of the people of the sector.

According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, the Israeli blockade prevented the ministry from supplying a number of new medical devices or importing spare parts for malfunctioning medical devices, and the medical device crisis posed a major obstacle to the development or continuation of work in the Gaza hospitals and medical centers in a manner appropriate to the health needs of the population.

The Ministry confirmed in a statement on 21/3/2020 that it urgently needed respiratory equipment, the provision of intensive care rooms, medicines, medical consumables and preventive supplies to confront the Corona virus. This assertion came after the occupation authorities allowed the entry of limited quantities of medical supplies into the Gaza Strip on 3/18/2020, where special equipment was introduced to diagnose those infected with the Corona virus, in addition to hundreds of protective kits dedicated to protecting medical teams and protective glasses, after a request Submitted by the World Health Organization.

The Ministry of Health in Gaza announced that the number of cases of Corona virus infection in the Gaza Strip reached two cases, after examining 118 samples, the results of which were 116 negative (virus-free), and two positive cases. The number of cases admitted to private quarantine centers reached 1399, distributed among 22 centers in all governorates of the Gaza Strip, and the number of cases subject to home quarantine reached 1969 cases [1].

Michael Link, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in 1967, in a statement on 19/19/2020, expressed his deep concern about the potential impact of the emerging Corona virus on the people of the Gaza Strip.

He added that the health care system in Gaza is falling apart even before the outbreak of the pandemic due to a lack of stocks of essential medicines, pollution of drinking water to a large extent, high levels of malnutrition, poor living conditions and population density. Link warned that a possible widespread outbreak in Gaza would exacerbate pressures on trapped health workers.

Jimmy McGoldrick, Humanitarian Coordinator in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, considered in a statement on 21/3/2020 that the arrival of the Corona Virus in the Gaza Strip may be frightening due to the overpopulation and limited capacity of the health system. He added: "We are concerned about Gaza, it is a complicated area, due to the long-term blockade and the restrictions that make things difficult."

He believed that the arrival of the virus in the Gaza Strip would turn it into a "kind of incubator" when people get stuck in a densely populated area, and the health system in it suffers from a lack of funding and scarcity of resources and equipment.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights affirmed that Israel has the primary responsibility to provide medical supplies to the people of the Gaza Strip and must take all necessary preventive measures available to combat the spread of infectious diseases and epidemics, in accordance with Articles 55 and 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.

He called on the international community and the World Health Organization to put pressure on Israel to force it to comply with its obligations, and to allow the entry of all medical needs into the Gaza Strip, especially medical devices and equipment necessary for the medical examination of the Corna virus.

The Center called on the international community and humanitarian organizations to provide aid and assistance to the health system in the Gaza Strip, and to work to provide the medical supplies needed by hospitals, to help cope with the spread of the Corona virus.

He called on the two departments of the Ministry of Health in Ramallah and Gaza to coordinate between them and unite efforts to counter the spread of the Corona virus, and he called on the Palestinian National Authority to establish a unified higher emergency committee that includes all Palestinian governorates, following up the measures taken to limit the spread of the Corona virus, and working to spread information about infections, and how Access to health services.

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