The Palestinian Minister of Health Mai al-Kalia told the Voice of Palestine radio on Tuesday that Israel “obstructed” the entry of 100,000 COVID-19 testing swabs that were destined for the West Bank. As a result, the Ministry will only have enough swabs to last them for three days, after which time the West Bank would run out.
What started off as fear of the unknown, has now settled into somewhat of a feeling of indifference, and detached acceptance. It’s not that people don’t care about getting sick or spreading the virus, but more so that they are tired of their lives being put on hold for something that at this point seems inevitable.
After months of recording remarkably low rates of COVID-19 infection, the Gaza Strip is witnessing a worrying outbreak of the virus, recording nearly 300 new cases in just the past week — and it’s just the beginning.
New cases of COVID-19 were reported among relatives in the al-Maghazi refugee camp, where, as is the case in most refugee camps, overcrowding and poor infrastructure poses a major threat to the community’s ability to stop the spread of the virus.
In the past 24 hours alone, there were more than 612 new cases, a third of which were reported in occupied East Jerusalem, which has seen a surge in cases recently.
There are more than 2,300 active cases of COVID-19 in East Jerusalem, and the daily rate of infection continues to climb. Despite this, Israeli authorities have continued their policy of home demolitions and arrests in the occupied territory.
It’s the week before the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, and the streets of Palestine were bustling today as people got their holiday shopping done. But in the past 24 hours, 481 new cases of the virus were recorded in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.