Gaza Officially out of Coronavirus Test Kits, Call on International Community for Help

Using humble means, a refugee worker sterilizes the streets in Al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

‘Gaza is out of Coronavirus test kits’ was the ominous, but expected announcement made by Palestinian Health Officials in the impoverished Gaza Strip on Wednesday.

This means that the besieged Palestinian enclave has zero capacity to detect, let alone cure COVID-19 patients.

“Testing at our central laboratory has stopped, after coronavirus test kits completely ran out,” Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said.

According to Qidra, who communicated the news to reporters in Gaza, the dozens of samples that have already been isolated for future testing will no longer be examined by the Strip’s medical experts.

Worse, this effectively means that hundreds of Gazans who are already under quarantine in the various makeshift facilities throughout the region will have to remain in permanent isolation.

Qidra echoed earlier calls made by Gaza’s health authorities to “provide Gaza with testing kits as well as 100 ventilators and 140 beds for intensive care units,” Reuters news agency reported.

“We have repeatedly warned that this terrifying scenario was going to happen,” said Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle, Ramzy Baroud. “Without immediate and sustainable intervention from the international community, impoverished Gaza could become a hotbed for COVID-19 for years to come.”

“What is needed is a fundamental and structural change that would emancipate the Palestinian healthcare system from the horrific impact of the Israeli occupation and the Israeli government’s policies of perpetual siege and politically-imposed ‘quarantines’ – also known as apartheid,” Baroud added.

Gaza, with a population of 2 million, has been under a hermetic Israeli siege since 2006, when the Palestinian group Hamas won the democratic legislative elections in occupied Palestine.

Since then, Israel has carried out numerous bombing campaigns and several major wars, which resulted in the death of thousands of people. 

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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