In response to the Coronavirus global pandemic, governments across the world are implementing emergency measures in order to protect the health of their citizens and stabilise their economies. For almost 2 million people in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip with the first cases of COVID-19 being confirmed and 2 thousand suspected already in quarantine, the situation is on the brink of catastrophe. The Irish Congress of Trade Unions sent a letter to their Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade calling on Irish authorities and the EU to pressure Israel to end the siege of Gaza.

„According to PCHR, the healthcare facilities in Gaza are already on the verge of collapse due to the Israeli- imposed closure on the Gaza Strip for the last thirteen years. All of this has caused a fragile healthcare system in the Gaza Strip, a perpetual shortage of essential drugs and medical devices and insufficient number of specialised health professionals; rendering the system unable to meet the basic medical needs of the Gaza Strip population in normal times” – the letter reads.

In light of the fear of a health sector collapse in the Gaza Strip and the foreseeable inability of the healthcare system to deal with patients in the case of a Coronavirus spreads, ICTU called upon the international community and WHO to put pressure on Israel and compel it to comply with its obligations, and to allow the entry of medical supplies and equipment necessary for Coronavirus medical examination.

You can read the full letter here