Around 9,000 Gaza patients in need of urgent evacuation abroad: WHO chief | World News


WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Photo: Bloomberg

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Photo: Bloomberg

Amid the continuing Israeli onslaught on Gaza in retaliation to the Hamas terror attacks on October 7, last year, and fears of a new front opening up in Rafah amid the ongoing war, World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Saturday said approximately 9,000 patients trapped in the Strip were in urgent need of evacuation abroad, CNN reported.

With healthcare infrastructure ‘all but collapsed’ in Gaza, thousands need treatment for cancer and kidney dialysis, as well as for injuries sustained during the conflict, Tedros posted on X.

The WHO chief said more than 3,400 people have already been evacuated, and many more were awaiting Israeli approval to leave, according to CNN.

“We urge Israel to speed up approvals for evacuations, so that critical patients can be treated,” Tedros said, adding, “Every moment matters.”

According to CNN, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated on Friday that Gaza’s partially functional hospitals can only provide ‘limited services’ and are overwhelmed with patients. They are also facing “critical shortages of fuel, medicines, medical supplies, and health personnel.”

According to the UN, more than 400 attacks on healthcare infrastructure in the Gaza Strip had been documented by the WHO as of March 12, affecting some 100 ambulances and nearly 100 health facilities.

Israel has repeatedly blamed Hamas for hiding behind civilians in Gaza’s hospitals and other medical facilities, accusations the militant group denies.

Meanwhile, nearly 400 tonnes of food aid are expected to arrive in Gaza by ship in the coming days, according to the non-governmental organisation arranging the deliveries, CNN reported.

Juan Camilo, a community outreach manager with World Central Kitchen, stated that the aid would be distributed to residents in the northern part of the Strip.

He mentioned that The Open Arms, a rescue vessel that recently delivered aid to Gaza, was towing a barge, while another cargo vessel, ‘Jennifer’, was also transporting aid.

World Central Kitchen mentioned that the vessels are equipped with machinery to expedite the off-loading process. Additionally, they noted that the aid includes dates provided by the United Arab Emirates for Palestinians observing Ramadan.

Earlier this month, World Central Kitchen said almost 200 tons of aid were delivered by ship in an operation conducted with the Emirati government and Open Arms, with support from Cyprus.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mar 30 2024 | 11:55 PM IST


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