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Gaza Enters New Phase as Coronavirus Cases Found Outside Quarantine Centers

Ref: 79/2020

Date: 25 August 2020

Time: 12:00 GMT

 

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) follows with great concern recent developments on the spread of coronavirus in the Gaza Strip, pursuant to the official announcement on Monday evening, 24 August 2020, of four coronavirus cases found for the first time in the Gaza Strip outside quarantine centers and from citizens inside the Gaza Strip. PCHR warns of the catastrophic consequences of the spread of the pandemic in the Gaza Strip considering its exhausted health system due to 14 years of closure and collective punishment, imposed illegally and inhumanly by Israeli occupation forces.

 

Since Monday evening, Gaza authorities imposed a 48-hour curfew across the Gaza Strip, and suspended work in public and private sectors, and shutdown educational institutions, mosques, markets, wedding halls and clubs, and banned all gatherings in order to contain the virus, identify possible cases and to deal with individuals who had contact with corona cases.

 

This is the first time a coronavirus case was documented outside the Gaza Strip quarantine centers, as the measures put forward since March 2020 contained the spread of the virus in the Gaza Strip.

 

As the Gaza Strip endures a 20-hour power outage per day, due to the Israeli ban on the import of fuel for operating the power plant, PCHR fears a dangerous and accelerated deterioration in health conditions, as explained in its detailed press release earlier today.

 

With these developments, the Gaza Strip witnesses a new and unprecedented phase that will affect all aspects of life and aggravate the already critical humanitarian conditions.

 

The implications of the crisis will affect PCHR work for the foreseeable future; nevertheless, the Centre will build on the measures it previously endorsed at the onset of the state of emergency in the oPt in March 2020. PCHR has put a detailed emergency plan in place that guarantees continuation of its work and services, that included new mechanisms and instruments that adapt to new realities. The past six months proved the success of the measures taken by PCHR, as it was successful in executing its programs in a creative manner that was received with appreciation from all its partners.

 

Starting today, PCHR staff commenced remote work in accordance with the emergency plan and will remain observant to new developments to determine new response mechanisms in the coming period.