Monday, March 4, 2024

WHO says Gaza facing ‘massive risk’ of epidemics

The World Health Organization has warned of a massive risk of epidemics in Gaza amid the ongoing Israeli onslaught, calling for a ceasefire in the besieged strip.

“There’s a massive risk of huge epidemics. And we’re already seeing the evidence of that,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told Anadolu in an interview, saying that fighting has to stop.

“We need a cease-fire,” Harris urged.

“The situation is definitely getting worse, you’ve got the combination of every factor that will harm people’s health,” she added, noting that the weather is cold and wet and 90% of the people are vulnerable to it. They also do not know where to get enough food from, she added.

“People, of course, are not getting any sleep. And this, this harms your immune system,” she said and added: “People are terrified. They don’t know what is going to happen.”

She stressed that there is “no safe place” in Gaza and people cannot even get to a hospital when they are injured.

Palestinian Red Crescent Society has not been able to provide an ambulance service in the north, according to the spokeswoman.

“It’s just not possible. So people being injured there are not getting care.”

Israel’s air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip since the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas have killed at least 19,667 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 52,586 others, according to health authorities in the enclave.

The war has left Gaza in ruins with half of the coastal territory’s housing stock damaged or destroyed, and nearly 2 million people displaced within the densely-populated enclave amid shortages of food and clean water.

Nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack, while more than 130 hostages remain in captivity.

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