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Communicable diseases spread in Gaza, WHO states

Geneva, Jun 30 (Prensa Latina) The Gaza Strip is currently facing an enormous risk of communicable diseases, such as water-borne diarrhea, contamination of scarce food, proliferation of mosquitoes, and heat stroke, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned.

This is a complex combination of water shortage, garbage everywhere, and high temperatures, something that can lead to the emergence of several communicable diseases, WHO Spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said, adding that about 470,000 cases of diarrhea have been reported since the conflict started.

The situation can be worsened by Israel’s decision to prevent the United Nations from collecting garbage from Gaza’s landfill sites, leading to poor sanitary conditions and raising fears of a further spread of diseases.

Piles of garbage rotting in the heat are piling up among the displaced people across the Strip, creating more storms that they are also unable to clean up due to restrictions on the import and distribution of fuel, Louise Wateridge, spokesperson for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, said.

“People are living in rubbish, surrounded by rubbish. It is a complex situation. People are also building shelters out of plastic, and the temperature inside is even higher than outside. These are unbearable conditions,” she said.

WHO has described the health and humanitarian situation in Gaza as critical and called it a dead zone with much of the territory destroyed.

It also warned that the scorching heat in that territory could exacerbate the health problems of displaced Palestinians.

The World Food Program (WFP) warned about an essential public health crisis in Gaza due to a lack of clean water, food, and medical supplies.