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QRCS backs Gaza Municipality efforts against COVID-19
Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has responded to the pressure on the health and services authorities of Gaza due to the 14-year blockade and the recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, by providing much-needed aid to control the pandemic. Currently, QRCS’s representation mission in Gaza is working on a project to provide urgent COVID-19 preventive aid to Palestine’s Ministry of Health (MOH), the blockade’s main health service provider, with a total budget of $95,000. The procurements accomplished so far included 800 COVID-19 rapid test kits, as well as disinfectants, gloves, and medical consumables delivered to MOH’s warehouses. Also, 13,000 liters of disinfectant (sodium hypochlorite), shoe covers, and heavy leather gloves were supplied to the Municipality of Gaza to enable them to clean and disinfect quarantine facilities and public places. Dr. Ramy Al-Abadleh, Infection Control Officer at MOH, said his ministry had to date recorded 81 confirmed cases, put under observation at the isolation hospital, in addition to thousands of quarantine suspected cases. “Everyday assessment, follow-up, and swabbing processes are in progress,” said Dr. Al-Abadleh. “The 800 rapid test kits provided by QRCS were important for MOH, as the latter is taking ongoing measures to protect the passengers returning to Gaza, in an attempt to prevent and control the spread of the virus, in the teeth of a growing shortage in medicines and medical supplies”. Eng. Maher Salem, Water and Sewage Consultant at the Municipality of Gaza, said the new supplies by QRCS would enhance the preventive measures adopted by the municipality to fight the pandemic. “Municipality service providers will be protected against infection while dealing with solid waste, especially at quarantine facilities,” he added. Dr. Akram Nassar, head of QRCS’s mission in Gaza, explained that this aid is an emergency response to minimize the spread of the virus. According to him, cleaning and disinfection are key to protection, particularly where the infected and suspected cases are quarantined. “Our latest interventions helped to improve the services provided by MOH and the Municipality of Gaza to protect against Coronavirus,” he concluded.