New coronavirus cases signal wider outbreak in Gaza
The few points of entry to the coastal enclave of nearly 2 million people largely closed in March. But on Tuesday, authorities imposed a 48-hour lockdown after reporting the first four confirmed cases of the virus in the general population. By Wednesday, nine more cases had been discovered in two different areas. The territory also reported the first death related to covid-19 contracted through community spread.
For months, aid agencies have warned that the silent transmission of the virus through the conflict-weary strip could be calamitous. Gaza has one of the densest populations on Earth, a collapsed health-care system, and small supplies of electricity and clean water. Health-care workers are bracing for further signs of a wider outbreak among already vulnerable communities.
“Having this happen on top of the existing health system challenges is a matter of concern for us,” said Ayadil Saparbekov, the head of the World Health Organization’s local health emergencies team, according to Reuters. “We have been beefing up our support before this event by providing medical equipment and personal protective equipment …continued .
[Source: Washington Post]