Ministry Official: West Bank Hospitals Running out of Beds, Oxygen as COVID-19 Cases Surge

Hospital wards in parts of the occupied West Bank are at full capacity as coronavirus continues to spread in the Palestinian territories, according to officials.

Naji Nazal, the head of hospitals at the Palestinian health ministry, said on Tuesday that coronavirus infections in the West Bank are rapidly surging and that hospitals are under increasing pressure.

The General Director of Hospitals in the West Bank, Naji Nazal: We suffer from a lack of oxygen, and the epidemiological situation is still dangerous, and there is a continuous increase in the rate of bed occupancy in hospitals, and some of them reach between 95 to 100 percent.

— Roola Anwar (@RoolaAnwar1) March 9, 2021

Some areas of hospitals are at full capacity and cannot admit more patients.

“Coronavirus centers have become overworked that we had to allocate other hospitals to accommodate the increasing number of patients,” Nazal said.

“Beds were added to the Crescent Hospital in Nablus, and the entire National Hospital was re-equipped to receive Covid-19 patients. There is no solution left for the health ministry except for a complete lockdown to prevent the situation from getting worse in the West Bank.”

He explained that health workers are also struggling with a lack of oxygen as the disease rips through the West Bank.

50.2% of coronavirus cases in Palestine are women

— Middle East Monitor (@MiddleEastMnt) March 9, 2021

“We are currently trying to switch to liquid oxygen in the governorates most in need, because the existing oxygen plants are not sufficient to meet the needs of all patients,” Nazal said.

The West Bank is home to some 3.1 million Palestinians and has reported nearly 200,382 coronavirus cases, with 2,170 deaths.

In February, a World Bank report said that the occupied Palestinian Territories have one of the lowest testing rates in the Middle East and North Africa. It added that the West Bank’s positivity rate is more than 21 percent, while Gaza’s stands at 29 percent.

Gaza, which has been subjected to years of crippling blockade by Israel, has reported 55,091 cases and 549 deaths within its population of two million.

Source: The Palestine Chronicle