03/10/2021, 10.14
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Covid: intensive care over 100%, Palestinian hospitals in collapse

The alarm raised by Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh. Rigid two week lockdown. The daily number of victims also rises. We need "stringent, direct and unprecedented" measures. In Israel, 53% of the 9 million inhabitants received at least one dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine and 38% inoculated the two doses.


Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - In some areas of the West Bank, hospitals and intensive care units are crowded with patients affected by Covid-19 and operating at 100% capacity.

The alarm raised by Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has led to a rigid lockdown for the next two weeks to contain the spread of the new coronavirus as Israel has begun to relax restrictions following the massive vaccination campaign.

“The percentage of hospital occupancy in some areas has reached more than 100%,” Shtayyeh said in Ramallah, one of the West Bank cities where his Palestinian Authority (PA) exercises limited self-rule.

“The number of casualties is increasing and the number of deaths is increasing on a daily basis, forcing us to take strict, direct and unprecedented measures.”

With a population of 5.2 million inhabitants between the West Bank and Gaza, the Palestinians have so far benefited from about 37 thousand doses of vaccine resulting from donations from Israel and Russia, in addition to the 20 thousand sent by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the Strip.

In Israel, 53% of the 9 million inhabitants received at least one dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine and 38% the two doses. "The number of vaccinations in Israel is really high - says 75-year-old Palestinian Saji Khalil - even the Palestinians themselves are vaccinated because they are functional to Israel, not for the well-being of the workers [of the occupied territories]".

The disparities have exacerbated the intolerance and discontent of the Palestinian population towards their leaders, accused of having reserved 10% of the few doses received for VIPs and prominent personalities, relegating the elderly or chronically ill, those most exposed to the virus, to the margins. From Ramallah Firas Narawesh states that the government has failed to supply the doses to ordinary citizens and "has adopted an unfair and unequal distribution, with clear signs of favoritism and corruption".

Almost 200,000 cases of Covid-19 have been registered in Palestine so far, with more than 2,100 victims.

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