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News > Egypt

Egypt Allows Opening of Rafah Crossing With Gaza Strip

  • Palestinians at the Rafah border crossing, Nov. 24, 2020.

    Palestinians at the Rafah border crossing, Nov. 24, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @yenisafakEN

Published 24 November 2020

There is a shortage of medical resources  in Gaza and the situation could spiral out of control if the COVID-19 curve is not flattened.

The Egyptian authorities on Tuesday allowed a three-day opening of the Rafah Border Crossing with the Gaza Strip for travel in both directions.


Gaza Faces COVID-19 Crisis With Health System Near Collapse

Up to Thursday about 3,500 Palestinians will be able to leave for Egypt, according to the Interior Ministry of Gaza,  a territory which is governed by the Hamas movement.

Since the start of the pandemic in March, all people entering and leaving Gaza must present a medical certificate proving they are not infected with the new coronavirus. Local authorities also imposed two-week isolation on all those who entered the strip.

Measures like this made Gaza able to contain the expansion of the pandemic until the end of August when the first local infections were detected in a refugee camp. The territory was then subjected to strict confinement, which was gradually lifted until October.

Since a week ago, however, infections and morbidity have been increasing markedly. To control the situation, Gaza's health authorities asked commercial establishments to close at 5 pm and decreed a night curfew.

They also detected several successive spikes in infections over the past week, breaking a record on Saturday, with nearly 900 infections diagnosed in 24 hours.

These figures are alarming in an enclave where at least two million people live, the health system is precarious, there is a shortage of medical resources, and the situation could spiral out of control if the curve is not flattened.

Since the start of the pandemic, 16,100 COVID-19 cases and 72 deaths have been registered in Gaza. Some 6,500 cases are still active, 285 patients are hospitalized, and 109 people are in critical condition.

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