West Bank hospitals running out of beds, oxygen: Official
Naji Nazal, the head of hospitals at the Palestinian health ministry, said on Tuesday that coronavirus infections in the West Bank are rapidly surging and that hospitals are under increasing pressure.
Some areas of hospitals are at full capacity and cannot admit more patients.
"Coronavirus centres have become overworked that we had to allocate other hospitals to accommodate the increasing number of patients," Nazal said.
"Beds were added to the Crescent Hospital in Nablus, and the entire National Hospital was re-equipped to receive Covid-19 patients.
"There is no solution left for the health ministry except for a complete lockdown to prevent the situation from getting worse in the West Bank."
He explained that health workers are also struggling with a lack of oxygen as the disease rips through the West Bank.
"We are currently trying to switch to liquid oxygen in the governorates most in need, because the existing oxygen plants are not sufficient to meet the needs of all patients," Nazal said.
The West Bank is home to some 3.1 million Palestinians and has reported nearly 200,382 coronavirus cases, with 2,170 deaths.
In February, a World Bank report said that the occupied Palestinian Territories have one of the lowest testing rates in the Middle East and North Africa. It added that the West Bank's positivity rate is more than 21 percent, while Gaza's stands at 29 percent.
Gaza, which has been subjected to years of crippling blockade by Israel, has reported 55,091 cases and 549 deaths within its population of two million.