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European delegation arrive to Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip amidst surge in coronavirus cases

A delegation of European diplomats today arrived to the Gaza Strip to check on the humanitarian and health conditions as the Israeli-blockaded enclave is attempting to battle rising Covid-19 cases.

He said that the delegation of 18 European diplomats headed after crossing Erez/Beit Hanoun checkpoint with Israel to the European Hospital in Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip where the largest number of Covid-19 patients are hospitalized.

The delegation also visited the European Union-funded central water desalination plant in the south of the coastal enclave.

The visit, the first to Gaza in more than a year, comes amidst warnings that hospitals and quarantine centers have reached a breaking point with the surge in the number of people infected with the corona disease.

The Covid-19 cases in the Gaza Strip have more than tripled, reaching 25,592 cases. Meanwhile, the death toll had quadrupled and reached 149, while the active cases have totaled 10,647, accounting for 41.6 percent of the total cases since the pandemic outbreak in March.

Overcrowding among Gaza’s population of two million and the 14-year-long blockade imposed by Israel have long caused concerns about the virus’s potential impact, but the territory had escaped a major outbreak up until August.

On 15 November, authorities imposed a number of restrictions, including banning movement in the worst-hit areas, demanding shops close by 5 p.m., and banning indoor visits of more than 15 people.