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UN officials have said that Israeli air strikes and bombing of Gaza have stopped all vaccination and testing operations for Covid-19 in the Palestinian enclave, and have increased the risk of super-proliferation as civilians crowd into shelters in search of safety.
In an interview via Zoom on Friday when Israeli explosions shook their headquarters, the leaders of the UN Palestinian Relief Agency in Gaza and the head of the World Health Organization’s Gaza sub-office in Gaza said they feared a severe COVID-19 situation – 19 injuries would be a side effect of death and devastation The latest escalation in hostilities.
Matthias Shamali, an official at the United Nations agency, said that the number of people who contracted the Covid-19 virus in Gaza “has just stabilized, then this strike.” “It’s a bleak situation.”
He said that unvaccinated Gazans were flocking to schools run by his agency, known as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Refugees, because the Israelis do not intentionally target these buildings – making them, in fact, bomb shelters. Now, Mr. Shamali said, these schools “can turn into collective publishers.”
Last month, severe and critical cases of Covid Achieved record levels in Gaza, Which is what health experts attributed to the spread of a highly contagious type of corona virus, which was first identified in Britain. In early May, MSF reported that casualties in the area were Topping 1000 a day.
Before the vaccinations stopped, 38,000 people in Gaza received at least one dose of the vaccine, said Sasha Botsma, the WHO official. This is less than 2 per cent of the population of two million. The Russian Sputnik vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were administered in three hospitals in Gaza, and the AstraZeneca vaccine was administered in smaller health centers.
But now, Ms. Butma said, “People don’t dare to visit health facilities. We fear that this will have a significant negative impact. “
In contrast, more than 60% of the population of Israel received at least one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, and more than 55% were fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data Project At the University of Oxford. However, the pace of vaccination has slowed dramatically in recent months.
Under Kovacs, International cooperation to provide vaccines For the poor parts of the world, Gaza is supposed to receive enough vaccinations to protect 20 percent of its population, according to officials.
But the cargoes, which were airlifted to the Israeli Ben Gurion Airport and then sent overland across the border into Gaza, have been suspended indefinitely because air services to Israel have been halted by hostilities. Assuming they will soon resume, it remains unclear when the Gaza border crossings can reopen.
“The biggest problem now is that the borders are closed,” said Mr. Shamali. “Even if there is a delivery, we will not be able to receive any supplies.”
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