Gaza reports more critical COVID-19 patients than beds for them

The West Bank and Gaza saw 2,307 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours as the outbreak continues to worsen in Palestinian-controlled areas, the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry reports.

Four West Bank Palestinian governorates — Nablus, Tulkarem, Hebron and Bethlehem — are currently under total lockdown. A nightly curfew has been imposed in the rest of the West Bank’s Palestinian-controlled areas.

According to the ministry, 1,598 new infections were identified among West Bank Palestinians. Around 22% of tests came back positive, indicating wide, undetected spread.

In Gaza, which saw 709 new coronavirus cases, the positivity rate is far higher, around 37%.

The number of critical coronavirus patients in Gaza — 226 — exceeds the number of beds designated for their care. The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry says that it is placing coronavirus patients alongside regular patients in every hospital department now that the areas designated for use by COVID-19 patients have been filled.

— Aaron Boxerman