Gaza's health system 'about to be overwhelmed'

The Gaza Strip has seen a sharp rise in coronavirus infections.

And on Sunday (November 22) came a warning that the epidemic here could overwhelm the Palestinian enclave's medical system within a week.

There are only 100 ventilators in Gaza's hospitals.

Already, 79 of them have been taken up by COVID patients.

Microbiologist AbdelRaouf Elmanama says the health ministry is experiencing an unprecedented situation due to the rising number of cases.

And he warns the beds in the intensive care units are running out.

Gaza has a dense and poor population of around 2 million people.

It has registered 14,000 infections and 65 deaths, mostly since August.

Gaza's Islamist Hamas rulers have so far imposed one lockdown.

A long-standing Israeli blockade, which is supported by neighboring Egypt, has crippled the Gazan economy and undermined its public health apparatus.

Video Transcript

- The Gaza Strip has seen a sharp rise in coronavirus infections. And on Sunday came a warning that the epidemic here could overwhelm the Palestinian enclave's medical system within a week.

There are only 100 ventilators in Gaza's hospitals. Already, 79 of them have been taken up by COVID patients. Microbiologist AbdelRaouf Elmanama says the health ministry is experiencing an unprecedented situation due to the rising number of cases. And he warns the beds in the intensive care units are running out.

Gaza has a dense and poor population of around 2 million people. It has registered 14,000 infections and 65 deaths, mostly since August. Gaza's Islamist Hamas rulers have so far imposed one lockdown. A long-standing Israeli blockade, which is supported by neighboring Egypt, has crippled the Gazan economy and undermined its public health apparatus.