Amid Israeli siege, Omicron infections surge in West Bank and Gaza
The PA health ministry recorded 70,000 active infections in the West Bank and Gaza.
On Thursday, the Palestinian Authority's Health Ministry recorded over 70,000 active cases in the West Bank and Gaza as Palestinians are experiencing a rough winter spike in Omicron Covid-19 cases.
The true number of infections may be substantially higher due to the often unnoticeable or mild symptoms attributed to Omicron, particularly in vaccinated individuals.
At least 269 individuals have been hospitalized in PA-controlled areas of the West Bank, including 80 patients in intensive care and 24 on ventilators.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, the PA has recorded nearly 4,859 fatalities in the West Bank and Gaza.
According to the director of health services for Ramallah, Dr. Mahdi Rashed, Palestinian hospitals are nearly 85 percent full. He said, “It’s a dangerous sign and a sign that the worst is yet to come."
According to Dr. AbdelBasit Zeineddin, up to 2,000 patients arrive each day, with around half of them testing positive.
“The numbers are much higher than before,” he said.
Lama Abu Hilou, 22, stated she received both doses of the vaccine, but has shown symptoms recently. She stated she wanted to be tested due to concern about spreading the infection to her extended family who lives in the same building.
“It’s not just one person getting it, you hear about entire families, the mother, the father, the children, all infected,” she said.
The Health Ministry in Gaza, a besieged area that has been ravaged by years of attacks from "Israel", predicts an unprecedented number of cases in the coming weeks.
Dr. Majdi Dhair says the real concern is that infections among health workers multiply and lead to a staff shortage.
The PA has obtained a supply of vaccinations from the World Health Organization (WHO) program for impoverished countries, and with its limited resources was able to vaccinate only half of the populace. This comes following "Israel's" attempt to send the PA 1 million vaccination shots about to expire, which the Authorities declined.
Last month, the Ministry of Health called on all concerned parties to pressure the Israeli occupation to let diagnostic medical devices, which have been withheld for months, into the Gaza Strip.
In its statement, the Ministry stressed that the Israeli occupation has been reluctant in introducing special devices to the oxygen generating station and kidney pumps and is preventing the repair of many medical devices in the governmental and non-governmental health sectors, which include MRIs, CT scans, regular rays, and mobile devices, as well as preventing the entry of spare parts needed to repair these necessary devices.
A recent report by Amnesty International described "Israel" as an apartheid regime, stating that the occupation authorities' "laws, policies and practices, which are intended to maintain a cruel system of control over Palestinians, have left them fragmented geographically and politically, frequently impoverished, and in a constant state of fear and insecurity."
More than half the prisoners in 'Ofer' infected with Covid-19
The Palestinian Prisoners Club confirmed Thursday that more than half of the prisoners inside the Israeli "Ofer" prison are infected with the Coronavirus and the sections lack the necessary preventive measures. An estimated 1,000 prisoners are in "Ofer" Prison, divided into 12 sections.
The Club clarified that the virus is spreading in all sections and that the occupation prisons administration worked to turn the epidemic into a tool of abuse by establishing several exceptional measures and depriving prisoners of their rights under the pretext of curbing the spread of the epidemic.