Turkey and Gaza's Experience with COVID19

15 - Sep - 2020


The Islamic University of Gaza invited Dr. Suhaila Ashaboul, ASM Ambassador who lives in Turkey, via ZOOM program to convey the Turkish Experience in confronting COVID19 and to deeply examine some state-of-art updates of the epidemiological situation in the Gaza Strip.

The hosting meeting was on the 14th of Sep with attendance of Prof. Abdelraouf ElManama, who is the Head of the Health Emergency Committee in the Islamic University of Gaza, and Dr. Sohaila, who is the Ambassador of American Society for Microbiology in Jordan.

Prof. Abdel Raouf Manameh deliberated about the health situation in Gaza in light of the outbreak of Coronavirus and the factors that dragged the strip to record more inflections. He said most of the world countries have been in the grip of this disease. Palestine is one of them; it first hit the west bank then the Gaza Strip. The world has recorded 30 million inflected person with covid19 while the mortalities hit millions. The numbers of inflected people are alarming in both Gaza and West bank. The health sector, precisely in the Gaza Strip is also on the edge due to the 14-years blockade. According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, the numbers of inflected residents with the disease is (1,927) and the mortalities is (15).

Dr. Sohiala clarified the main reason beyond spreading the virus in Turkey; it was because an Italian who carried the virus moved to live in Istanbul. The emergency state knocked every house thereby; the contacted people with the first inflected person had been quarantined. Gradually, schools, universities, coffees, and public places were closed. Turkey would have been a replica of Italy in terms of mortalities unless they were very responsive and wise.  

"Turkey was alert and responded quickly with the disease," she stressed.

Dr. Sohaila, in addition, listed some ways the Turks adopted to recede the outbreak, shedding the light on some factors that aided them to control the situation. Firstly, Turkey has tested hundreds of thousands of those suspected of having the disease. Secondly, the hospitals were well rehabilitated, and by the spread of the disease, the Turkish Government issued a statement for building four brand-new hospitals. Thirdly, about 1000 ventilator is made every day and pumped to The Turkish hospitals to save patients with covid19. The intensive care champers are also abundant and well equipped. Not only that, they have injected the patients with drugs at very early stages of the disease so that the virus can be weakened and the numbers of mortalities can be shrunk.  More than that, the traditions of Turks helped them in surpassing the alarming line since they are accustomed of using perfume, in which 80% of it is made from alcohol.

She highlighted a focal point related to the disease's receding in turkey, which is the citizens' awareness about the severity of the disease. Accordingly, she said that people of turkey has been living with the precautionary and safety measures since the outbreak in their country, and they sterilize themselves and maintain social distancing as well.  In this respect, she called for residents in Gaza to abide to the instructions of the Ministry of Health.

Prof. Abdelraouf ElManama reflected on her speech warning people of misinformation about the epidemic from groups or individuals who are not specialized in the infectious diseases' field saying that they are more dangerous than the disease itself. Furthermore, he mentioned what so-called co-existence with Covid 19. The state of coexistence with the disease has not been implemented yet in the Gaza Strip. The strip has still lived under a combating state for receding the disease; a curfew is there in all provinces; the preventive medicine collaborates with other sides to trace after all connected individuals.

"Gaza will not afford coexistence with the disease because of the deteriorating health sector in addition to the scarcity of fundamental health devices," he confirmed.  

On the other hand, Dr. Sohaila pointed out that the Turkish people have still coexisted with the disease although sometimes some people loosen up, but they preserve sterilization and masks; "This is the chief factor that helped recede the disease there," she added.

On this regard and as a way of enjoying welfare, Dr. Sohaila recommended residents in Gaza to preserving and empowering their immunity through good nutrition as well as abiding to safety procedures such as social distance and wearing masks. All of these can reduce infections with the disease.