Turkish hospital ray of hope in virus-hit Gaza

Turkish hospital ray of hope in virus-hit Gaza

GAZA CITY-Anadolu Agency
Turkish hospital ray of hope in virus-hit Gaza

A Turkish hospital in Gaza is supporting health authorities of the blockaded strip in stemming the coronavirus amid a surge in infections.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Marwan al-Hams, director of the Palestine-Turkey Friendship Hospital, said the hospital has admitted and treated some 3,500 coronavirus patients since April 2020.

"The fully equipped Turkish hospital has contributed to alleviating the burden on the health of our people who have been suffering under the 15-year Israeli blockade," Al-Hams said.

He praised the continued support provided by the Turkish people and government to the Palestinian people.

With rising COVID-19 cases in Gaza, Al-Hams said the hospital has to admit up to 10 patients in a single room.

Funded by the Turkish government via the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), the hospital's six-floor building construction was completed in 2017 with a capacity of 180 beds.

Over the past 24 hours, the Gaza Strip has registered more than 1,900 infections among its 2-million population bringing Gaza's total infections to more than 77,000 cases, including 650 deaths.

Severe wave of virus

Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said Gaza is experiencing a severe wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

He told Anadolu Agency that the ministry in Gaza has registered a rapid increase in the number of infections including cases in critical conditions.

"At the start of March, the critical cases that required intensive care didn't exceed 24 cases, but today, we are speaking about 226 cases," Al-Qidra said.

He referred the increase in infections to the British variant along with the people's non-compliance to preventive measures against the virus.

Al-Qidra noted that the ministry has plans to increase the bed capacity at in-patient wards and quarantine centers to tackle the increase.

He added that the Israeli blockade has deeply affected the health sector, which is facing a lack of 45% essential medicines and 33% medical disposables.

For his part, Shadi Awad, the director of coronavirus tests in Al-Shifa Hospital, said the hospital conducts a daily average of 2,000 to 3,500 PCR tests.

He also expects a surge in the number of infections in the coming period which will add further pressure on the health sector.

Fear among the people

Gazans are apprehensive of the rapid spread of the virus, especially the detection of the British variant.

Citizen Mohammad Mushtaha said this wave of infections is dangerous and requires holistic preventive measures on a community level.

Um Alaa Juha who has chest problems also told Anadolu Agency that the public health situation in Gaza is very scary.

"I suffer from asthma and if I got infected, it will have negative consequences on my health," she added.

West Bank,