Rapid Spread of COVID-19 Could Bring Gaza to a Breaking Point

Please see below statement from Refugees International Senior Advocate for the Middle East Sahar Atrache:

“For the first six months of the pandemic, the Gaza Strip managed to avoid the worst of the virus. Now that is changing. Over the last ten days, the enclave has suffered its first outbreak of community transmission and the number of confirmed cases now stands at 258. As few as 1,500 cases could push Gaza’s fragile healthcare system to a breaking point. Gaza has fewer than 100 functioning ICU beds and even fewer ventilators. Without immediate action, the outbreak of COVID-19 will be impossible to contain.

Donor governments and the WHO should provide extra ventilators, PPE, and testing kits to help Gaza cope, and Israel should immediately remove restrictions that prevent entry into Gaza of goods and building materials intended for the humanitarian and health sectors.”

For press inquiries or to interview Sahar Atrache, please contact Sarah Sheffer at ssheffer@refugeesinternational.org.