COVID-19 in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank under the political conflict in Palestine
COVID-19 is a serious pandemic with variation of spread, morbidity, and fatalities between countries. Palestinians are facing the epidemic, with around 2 million inhabitants under siege in the highly populated Gaza Strip for the last 14 years. The siege may be the main threat for the spread of disease among the Palestinian population. The Palestinians faced the Corona epidemic with limited facilities in their hand. However, the risk factors remain multiple, the most important are overcrowding in the Gaza Strip, poor health care facilities, and the risk of workers moving between the West Bank and Israel. Palestinian Health authorities responded directly to the pandemic and took strict closure measures to prevent rapid spread. The Palestinian strategy has focused on social spacing, personal hygiene, control of border crossings and health preparedness to deal with medical cases while continuing to provide health services to the population. The difficult economic situation is the major obstacle facing Palestinians to overcome the disease spread where workers continue their jobs inside Israel and Gaza cannot enforce low-income workers to stay at home. More is needed to ensure community engagement, support coordination among all health care providers in Palestine, and take effective steps to promote social spacing. Friendly countries and international organizations can assist and support the Palestinian population in providing laboratory diagnostic materials, providing personal protective devices, strengthening intensive care units, and supporting outreach activities and training programmes.
Conflicts of interest: None declared.
Copyright (c) 2020 Yehia Abed
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication in print and online. The work is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.