The health authorities in the Gaza Strip fear that a “third wave” of Corona will spread on a large scale, after the collapse of all the emergency measures they were taking to confront the pandemic before the outbreak of the recent war.
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The Ministry of Health – which is run by the Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas” – in Gaza says that the war has caused the collapse of anti-Corona measures, and the repercussions that it left, whether on the ministry or the population, impede the speedy return to impose these measures again.
The Ministry of Health estimates that the rate of infection with the Coronavirus is currently about 30% of the total daily examination samples, but it expects a “third wave” that may be violent and widespread within a week.
With the announcement of the ceasefire at dawn on the 21st of this month, Gaza witnessed a frantic return to life, and congestion on the beaches of the sea, markets and public parks, in an unusual scene since the outbreak of Corona in the small coastal sector about a year ago.
As much as he feared this reality, Rami Al-Abadla, director of the Safety and Infection Control Unit at the Ministry of Health, seemed to understand him, and told Al-Jazeera Net that “the Israeli massacres were greater than the people’s ability to contain the health scene.”
He added, “The war was bloody and destructive, and the people of Gaza will not bear the rapid return to commitment to preventive measures, and even the Ministry of Health itself has not returned to its work in terms of confronting the virus with the same energy that it had before the war.”
According to Al-Abadla, the destruction caused by the war on the only Corona test laboratory in Gaza, which caused it to be out of work for days, greatly affected the capabilities of the Ministry, which suffers mainly from
A complex reality and limited possibilities
The Ministry of Health is facing complications related to the limited amount of materials for Corona examinations, the inability of medical staff to reach the homes of the injured for follow-up, in addition to the fact that the war has limited the movement of citizens and their access to health centers in order to obtain vaccination, according to Al-Abadala.
He stressed that the challenges will be more and more dangerous in the event that this reality explodes and a “third wave” of Corona spreads with a significant increase in the number of injured, as pressure will increase on the ministry’s facilities, which are exhausted due to the long years of siege and wars.
Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra agrees with Al-Abadleh that the outbreak of a third wave of Corona is expected, and the severity of this increases with the destruction and damage of health facilities during the war, and the great shortage of medicines and health supplies due to the blockade.
The Israeli bombardment during the war destroyed 24 health institutions, including 5 hospitals, 6 government centers, and 13 health institutions affiliated with non-governmental organizations.
Al-Qudra told Al-Jazeera Net that the health sector suffers mainly from an acute shortage of 45% of medicines, 33% of medical consumables, and 56% of laboratory and blood bank supplies, so that war comes
The repercussions of the war
Before the outbreak of the war, the Ministry of Health was talking about a decline in the epidemiological curve, but the displacement of thousands of their homes to shelters in the schools of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), under insecure conditions, indicates a setback.
UNRWA estimates that more than 50,000 have fled to its schools, and more than this number have fled their homes in dangerous areas and sought refuge in the homes of their relatives in search of safety.
Ziad al-Kahlout, a specialist in chest diseases and bronchoscopes, confirmed that the current situation is “very dangerous”, and what makes it more dangerous – in his opinion – is that people, after the horrific scenes that they lived through during the war, “underestimated death, and Corona is no longer for them the greatest danger.”
In his speech to Al-Jazeera Net, Al-Kahlout expected that the next few days will witness a “catastrophic outbreak of Corona,” and perhaps exceed the second wave in terms of severity and danger, due to several reasons, the most important of which are: the great overcrowding in the accommodation centers with the absence of preventive measures and spacing And the environmental pollution resulting from the gases emitted by the Israeli missiles and missiles.
Among the manifestations of fear among the kahlout, which gives an indication of the danger of the next stage, is that the commitment to preventive measures on the part of citizens has become a rare matter, and to reduce this danger, the kahlout urged a quick return to preventive emergency measures.