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UN official warns of COVID-19 spread in Gaza Strip

Coronavirus Pandemic: The total number of Palestinians infected with the coronavirus has reached 108, including nine in the Gaza Strip.

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New Delhi Published on: March 30, 2020 9:46 IST
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UN official warns of COVID-19 spread in Gaza Strip

A senior official of UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) on Sunday warned of the consequences of the spread of the novel coronavirus in the Gaza Strip. Director of the UNRWA in Gaza Matthias Schmale told reporters that the organization is gravely concerned about the spread of the virus in light of Gaza's vulnerable situation, stressing that managing such a crisis would be "extremely difficult", Xinhua news agency reported.

He said Gaza Strip is suffering from a severe lack of resources in light of 13-year-old Israeli blockade on the coastal enclave.

"It is unreasonable to think that a place like Gaza can be isolated from the world, which puts everyone, including the people, under the responsibility of stopping the spread of the virus," he said, adding that "the worst scenario is the spread of the virus under a total closure."

Schmale called for lifting the blockade that has been imposed on Gaza since 2007 and stressed the importance of providing respiratory equipment and preventative medical equipment to Gaza.

The total number of Palestinians infected with the coronavirus has reached 108, including nine in the Gaza Strip.

UNRWA provides basic services, including health, education, sanitation and food supplies to more than one million Palestinian refugees living in the Gaza Strip, a home for two million Palestinians.

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