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Gaza out of coronavirus test kits, officials say

The Gaza Strip has no more coronavirus test kits, Palestinian Arab health officials said on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

“Testing at our central laboratory has stopped, after coronavirus test kits completely ran out,” Gaza “health ministry” spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra was quoted as having said. The Gaza “health ministry” is run by Gaza’s Hamas terrorist rulers.

Gaza has reported 13 cases of coronavirus thus far, all of whom are at quarantine facilities. But officials have voiced concern that a shortage of critical equipment and medical supplies could set off a rapid spread amongst the enclave’s two million people.

Qidra said in his remarks on Wednesday that dozens of samples were awaiting testing, and that hundreds of people would likely have to remain in quarantine facilities as a result.

He appealed to international organizations to provide Gaza with testing kits as well as 100 ventilators and 140 beds for intensive care units.

The first cases of COVID-19 in Gaza were reported in late March. Before that, local authorities declared a new set of precautionary measures amid concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus in the coastal enclave.

Hamas has closed schools, mosques and wedding halls and banned large street gatherings to halt the spread of the virus, but has not moved to impose a lockdown on Gaza’s 2 million residents, saying it was not yet necessary.