Israel’s military assault on Gaza threatens to worsen the pandemic in the enclave

Israel’s military assault on Gaza threatens to worsen the pandemic in the enclave
Image: leo2014/Pixabay

[Ed. – Is the WaPo for real? The rise in COVID infections is Israel’s fault? Is the fact that Gaza militants hide bombs in schools and hospitals also Israel’s fault?]

It was just a week ago that a surge in coronavirus cases in the Gaza Strip, the worst there since the pandemic began, appeared to be finally waning.

Confirmed infections and deaths, at record levels in April, had declined. And Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that rules Gaza, had eased public health restrictions, even as some coronavirus hospital wards remained stubbornly crowded.

But Israel’s military assault on Gaza — launched Monday in response to rocket fire from the territory as wider tensions flared in Jerusalem — is threatening to undo those fragile gains against the virus. The fighting could cripple the enclave’s overstretched health-care system, aid agencies warn, helping seed new coronavirus outbreaks amid the chaos of war.

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The violence has had an immediate effect: Medical facilities, triaging the flood of new injuries, have for the most part paused coronavirus testing and vaccinations, humanitarian workers say.

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