The World Health Organization delivered 15 ventilators to hospitals in Gaza amid a spike in COVID-19 infections that has tested the Palestinian territory’s under-developed health system.
The donation of the intensive care devices, funded by Kuwait, came a week after local and international public health advisers said hospitals in the enclave could soon become overwhelmed, according to Reuters.
“These devices will help medical teams provide better service to patients, but it is not enough,” said Abdullatif Alhaj of Gaza’s health ministry.
Alhaj told Reuters that hospitals had suffered acute shortages in oxygen essential in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
There have been nearly 20,000 coronavirus cases in Gaza since the start of the pandemic, and 97 deaths, mostly since August, amid concern of a wider outbreak in the densely populated enclave of 2 million people, many of whom live in poverty.
In another context, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that the coronavirus has put Israel “in danger,” and “if necessary, we will halt the continued easing of restrictions and even tighten those we have already given.”
This week will witness discussing ways to distribute the vaccines, according to the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation.
For the first time in more than four weeks, more than 1,000 new cases were diagnosed per day.
Israel, of a 9-million population, respectively succeeded in containing the virus in the spring due to imposing strict measures. However, the cases spiked with the easing of restrictions, which pushed the government to impose a second lockdown in mid-Sep.