Palestine Confirms Cases Of Delta Strain Of Coronavirus

The Palestinian health minister Mai al-Kaila has announced that around 20 cases are registered of the Indian Delta variant of Covid-19 in the country. Cases were discovered in all West Bank districts.

Kaila has said in a press statement that the new infections were discovered in  Ramallah and al-Bireh, Jericho and al-Aghwar, Tulkarm, Hebron, Nablus, Salfit, Qalqilya, and in suburbs of Jerusalem.

She said that the Delta variant is “the most infectious variant of all other coronavirus strains”.

She called on the Palestinians immediately to receive their first dose of Covid-19 vaccines, adding that the vaccine would reduce serious symptoms of Covid-19.

The Palestinian Health Ministry has registered until now a total number of 482,695 people who have been vaccinated in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

In addition, it is registered that a total of 342,562 people are infected with Covid-19 in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, including 3,825 deaths.

The number of infected Palestinians with coronavirus is increasing. Amid the increase, Israel refuses to provide Covid-19 vaccines to the Palestinians.

After international pressure and condemnation, Israel granted 5,000 vaccine doses, which is a very small amount.

Omar Shakir, the Israel and Palestine director for Human Rights Watch, said, “Israel’s provision of 5,000 vaccine doses to Palestinian health workers pales in comparison to the nearly 5 million doses it has already provided to Israeli citizens.”

Israel, which has fully reopened after vaccinating 85% of its population, was criticized for not sharing the vaccines with the 4.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Israel, which is obliged under international law to inoculate Palestinians, is ready to destroy 800,000 vaccine doses if no country buys them.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has called off its agreement with Israel as it appeared to have expired and did not meet the technical criteria of the Health Ministry.

Despite expired vaccine doses, the new Israeli government said that the Palestinian authority would reimburse back the same amount of vaccines when it receives them from the pharmaceutical company in September or October.

We will continue to find effective ways to cooperate for the benefit of people in the region,” Foreign Minister Yair Lapid tweeted after the deal was announced.

It is crystal clear that such a deal falls in favor of Israel, through getting rid of the expired amount but receiving instead validated vaccines.

Despite the availability of vaccines, Israel refuses to inoculate Palestinians. Ex-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has once said that Israel will be the first to emerge from the pandemic.

Palestine has to rely on a World Health Organization-led program called COVAX.

The COVAX pillar aims to ensure that every country gets fair and equitable access to eventual Covid-19 vaccines. It acts as an insurance policy.

It also aims to inoculate only 20% of a country’s population.

Unfortunately, The Gaza Strip and occupied territories in the West Bank suffer from a severe pandemic with a declined healthcare system. They are in urgent need of vaccines, especially after the detection of Delta strain to Palestine.

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