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The Palestinian Minister of Health, Mai Alkaila, confirmed today that five thousand people would be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.
This batch consists of 10,000 doses of the prophylactic preparation and should arrive this Thursday, said the expert, who said that the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) also purchased two million doses of other formulations, which will be enough to vaccinate one million citizens.
The vaccines will arrive here between February 14 and 20, said Alkaila, quoted by the Wafa news agency.
The health minister said that the PNA is awaiting donations from friendly countries to implement the broadest possible vaccination scheme.
According to the Minister, the priority now is to protect healthcare workers, chronically ill patients, and the elderly.
For these purposes, she said, 45 centers have been set up in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
More than two thousand Palestinians have died from COVID-19, with more than 181,349 infected with SARS-CoV-2, the cause of the serious disease.
Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine has an approx 92% efficacy rate, according to a British medical journal. Sputnik V was initially registered in August, ahead of phase 3 trials. Its supply is crucial to people in Argentina, Bolivia, Palestine, Venezuela, Hungary, and UAE pic.twitter.com/TgGMdydJHe
PNA President Mahmoud Abbas again extended the state of emergency in all territories under his jurisdiction to establish and supervise restrictions such as partial and complete confinement.
In previous days Alkaila confirmed the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 variant discovered and described in late December in southern England.
Of particular concern is the epidemiological panorama in Gaza, blockaded and bombed by Israel, whose weak health care system could not withstand an explosion in contagions, warned activists in declarations to Prensa Latina.
PNA leaders also warned about the aggressions and house demolitions perpetrated by Israeli soldiers against the Arab people, at a time when homes are one of the key barriers against the pandemic.
The PNA Prime Minister, Mohammad Shtayyed, asked the United Nations for support to protect the Palestinians against what he called a wave of terror, intensified amid the COVID-19 attacks.