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Gaza: Coronavirus

Question for Department for International Development

UIN 30804, tabled on 17 March 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effect on the healthcare system in Gaza of the response to the spread of covid-19 in that region.

Answered on

25 March 2020

This answer is a correction from the original answer.

There are currently two known cases of COVID-19 in Gaza. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has delivered essential equipment such as lab testing kits and personal protective equipment and has used DFID-funded Trauma Stabilisation Tents to quarantine suspected COVID-19 patients at the Rafah border crossing. UN agencies are supporting further measures such as the establishment of a field hospital and the creation of a medical checkpoint at the Erez border crossing.

A widespread outbreak of the virus could overwhelm Gaza’s already overburdened health system - especially given the lack of reliable access to clean water and energy in the strip. We continue to monitor the situation and are working closely with the UN and the international community to ensure agencies are ready to respond to an outbreak.

Original answer

There are currently no known cases of COVID-19 in Gaza. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has delivered essential equipment such as lab testing kits and personal protective equipment and has used DFID-funded Trauma Stabilisation Tents to quarantine suspected COVID-19 patients at the Rafah border crossing. UN agencies are supporting further measures such as the establishment of a field hospital and the creation of a medical checkpoint at the Erez border crossing.

A widespread outbreak of the virus could overwhelm Gaza’s already overburdened health system - especially given the lack of reliable access to clean water and energy in the strip. We continue to monitor the situation and are working closely with the UN and the international community to ensure agencies are ready to respond to an outbreak.