The Gaza blockade threatens to increase the seriousness of Corona in the event that it spreads

Gazan activists launch jokes through social networks, through which they compare the 13-year-old Israeli blockade and the restriction caused by the spread of the new Corona virus around the world.

Since the summer of 2006, Israel has imposed a tight blockade on the Gaza Strip, restricting the movement of nearly two million people, as well as the movement of goods.

But this besieged geographic region has not had any infection with the new virus so far, according to what the Ministry of Health announced, and it may be at this time among the few safe areas in the world, until the opposite appears.

Experts believe that infecting anyone inside Gaza with the virus will lead to its rapid spread due to severe overpopulation.

The agency's director of operations, Matthias North, warned of the rapid spread of the virus if it reached Gaza, likening the situation to the cruise ship, which was affected by about a quarter of those on board when it was imposed on them off Japan in the beginning of February.

"It is an illusion to think that such a situation can be managed in a closed place, as is the case here," he said.

But, according to the prevailing saying, “The evil of the misfortune is not laughing,” an activist said in a video posted on Facebook: “We welcome you in Gaza, which is safe from the Corona virus, to the whole world. Are you tired of staying in your homes and closing airports and crossings, we are used to, trapped for 13 years ".

Another activist called on the world's population to come to Gaza, "If you are afraid of death, come to Gaza, where there is no corona."

The ruling Hamas authorities in the Strip imposed strict precautionary measures, including the closure of border crossings with Israel and Egypt, in addition to the closure of schools and universities and the prevention of all community activities and activities.

For its part, the Ministry of Health put about 900 people who had recently returned to the Strip under quarantine, along with thousands in the domestic quarantine.

The poverty rate in the Gaza Strip is increasing as a result of the blockade, which has also caused the health system to weak and suffer from a major shortage of basic necessities.

Maryam Al-Khatib, 80, fills the shelves of her kitchenette in her home in the Tel Al-Hawa neighborhood of western Gaza, with food and cleaning supplies.

"Since its creation, we have not had such a terrible situation," the woman who has lived through six wars and two uprisings told AFP.

Maryam sits on her bed watching the virus, which is broadcast on TV on the wall.

Her son Mustafa, 51, says he understands "the feelings of people all over the world. We are in isolation similar to the quarantine imposed by Corona since 2006."

It seems normal for the family to store food, especially as the experience of wars and recurring crises makes them prepare for the worst.

"We are used to storing food supplies and preparing to stay for days and weeks in our homes," Mustafa added. "There are no guarantees yet that the virus will not enter despite the closure. If one citizen is infected, he will spread madly and kill hundreds and thousands of people."

Schools in the Gaza Strip closed their doors, while local radio and television stations began transmitting lessons to students in their homes, and other schools used the Internet.

Nabila Saleh, principal of the Sisters of the Rosary school in Gaza, said, "We have adopted online teaching, we want the students to complete their lessons and replace them with what they miss, no one knows when this situation will end."

Because of the Israeli blockade and the frequent closure of the Rafah crossing, only foreign humanitarian cases, especially cancer patients, are allowed to travel abroad.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which oversees the education of about a quarter of a million students in its schools in the Gaza Strip, decided to deal with the situation as if the virus had reached Gaza.

Hospitals in the Gaza Strip have 60 beds of intensive care, the director of the World Health Organization in the Palestinian territories, Gerald Rukenshab, told AFP.

Shamali mentioned the lack of essential medicines, electricity, water and even human resources.

"More than 90 percent of the water in the sector is not fit for human consumption," says Röckenshap.

The director of the World Health Organization in the Palestinian Territories said that the Israeli restrictions and political tension caused the deterioration of health facilities in the sector during the past decade.

Israel said it was working to ensure the delivery of medical supplies, including 500 thermometers, which were delivered on Wednesday.

Elements of the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, began to supply two quarantine areas in the south and north of the sector, including a thousand quarantine rooms, which were supervised by the work of the movement's president, Yahya Sinwar.

The Ministry of Health approved the quarantine for a period of 14 days for every Palestinian returning from travel.

"We came from Egypt on Wednesday and we were glad that we came back to Gaza, but I was surprised that there were no ready bathrooms and no water for ablution, how will we spend 14 days," says Jawdat al-Najjar, one of the isolated at the quarantine headquarters.

At Marmara School in Khan Yunis, every eight people were placed in one classroom after the men were separated from the women.

The Ministry of Health denied what Al-Najjar said. Youssef Abu Al-Rish, Gaza Health Ministry official, notes that the detainees are being followed up around the clock, providing all the needs and services needed for them, and their "health condition is reassuring."

It was noticeable that workers in the Karni industrial zone, east of Gaza, used masks, gloves, and to undergo permanent sterilization.

The Ministry of Endowments in Gaza prevented the elderly, who suffer from influenza, cold, and colds, from praying in mosques.

"If the corona strikes people in Gaza, there is no cure here except by praying to God," says Maryam.

 

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