Israel shells the Gaza Strip on May 16.  Photo: Reuters

Hospitals are overloaded, both treating the injured and fighting COVID-19


TPO – Hospitals in the Gaza Strip are in a state of “one-and-one” as they deal with the COVID-19 pandemic as well as an increase in the number of injured due to the conflict with Israel that broke out last week and shows no signs of stopping.

“The Ministry of Health is fighting on two fronts in the Gaza Strip – the front against COVID-19 and the other, more difficult is treating the wounded by the conflict,” the hospital’s surgical director Shifa in Gaza Marwan Abu Sada said.

Doctors in the Gaza Strip are currently working at full capacity after more than a week of fighting with almost no signs of cooling down.

Since the fighting began, Palestine says 201 people have been killed and hundreds more injured, including those injured by shrapnel or collapsed buildings.

Israel has recorded 10 people killed in the rocket launch with many others injured, some directly from the explosion and others when rushing to safety. Some are in critical condition.

A ward at Shifa hospital, previously dedicated to treating COVID-19, has been converted into an intensive care unit for those injured in the conflict.

In Shifa, the largest medical facility among 13 hospitals and 54 clinics serving 2 million people, the number of intensive care beds doubled to 32 as the number of people injured in the conflict increased.

Like many other hospitals, the 750-bed hospital faced shortages of medicine and equipment before fighting broke out on May 10. Not only medicine and medical equipment, the fuel for the generators that power hospitals in Gaza is also running out.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Gaza Strip, with a population of two million, has received 122,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, more than half of which have not been vaccinated. 103,000 people in the region were positive for SARS-CoV-2 virus, including more than 930 deaths.

Sacha Bootsma, head of WHO in the Gaza Strip, said that before the COVID-19 pandemic raged, the health system here could be classified as the weakest with very old equipment and old buildings. skills, lack of well-trained medical staff and frequent shortages of essential medicines.

High-ranking Israeli officials hinted at the possibility of signing a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip

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