CAIRO: Egypt has sent 65 tons of medical aid to the Gaza Strip after a week of Israeli strikes left more than 200 Palestinians dead and hundreds more injured, health officials have said.
With hospitals in Gaza overwhelmed by patients, the critical surgical supplies include specialist burn treatments as well as “ventilators, oxygen tanks and syringes,” Health Minister Hala Zayed said on Monday.
She said that the medicine and medical supplies are worth about 14 million Egyptian pounds ($900,000).
Sources said that 26 trucks containing food items have also been sent to Gaza, on top of 50 ambulances to transport the wounded. Egypt also said that it will provide 11 field hospitals containing more than 900 beds.
The shipment includes anesthesia medicines, antibiotics, analgesics, medicines, ointments for burns, and medicines for blood pressure, diabetes, kidneys, chronic and chest diseases.
Khaled Mujahid, health ministry spokesman, said that cooperation between regional blood banks in the North Sinai and Ismailia governorates, and the Egyptian Blood Transfusion Service in Cairo, will supply Palestinian hospitals with urgent supplies of blood as needed.
He added that the hospitals of Bir Al-Abd, Al-Arish and Sheikh Zuweid in North Sinai — with a total capacity of 288 general beds, 81 intensive care beds, 233 doctors and 44 ventilators — are ready to receive injured Palestinians through the Rafah crossing.
Mujahid said that medical reinforcements have been sent to the three hospitals that will remain for three months, adding that the facilities are supported by 37 medical teams covering emergency and intensive care, and anesthesia, heart, brain, nerve, bone and vascular surgery.
He said that the Ismailia Medical Complex and Abu Khalifa Emergency Hospital in the Ismailia Governorate are also offering 385 general beds, 85 intensive care beds, and 1,145 doctors and nurses, and will receive patients from Palestine that require urgent medical treatment.
A central operations room has been set up at the Ministry of Health to follow up on medical services to Palestine, and to communicate between various sectors of the ministry and governorates, Mujahid added.
Israel launched its campaign on the Gaza Strip on May 10 following unrest in East Jerusalem.
The Hamas-run local health ministry said that Israeli airstrikes have killed 213 Palestinians, including 61 children, and wounded more than 1,400 people in Gaza.
Jens Laerke, a spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said that almost 47,000 Palestinians have fled their homes during the airstrike campaign, The Associated Press reported.
Airstrikes have also destroyed the sole COVID-19 testing laboratory in Gaza, the local health ministry said.