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This Happened

This Happened — September 29: COVID-19 Death Toll Hits 1 Million

On this day in 2020, the worldwide death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic reached one million.

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What was the initial global response to the COVID-19 pandemic?

In the early stages of the pandemic, countries implemented various measures such as travel restrictions, quarantine protocols, and public health campaigns to raise awareness about the virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. WHO facilitated information sharing, provided guidelines, and coordinated efforts to ensure equitable access to medical supplies and vaccines. Initiatives like COVAX were launched to ensure fair distribution of vaccines to lower-income countries.

Were there any challenges in the global response to COVID?

Challenges included: Vaccine Distribution Disparities: Access to vaccines was unequal, with wealthier countries obtaining more doses, leading to concerns about vaccine equity. Misinformation: The spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories complicated public health efforts. Economic Impact: Lockdowns and restrictions led to economic downturns, affecting livelihoods and economies worldwide.

How did the pandemic affect healthcare systems?

Healthcare systems faced unprecedented challenges, with surges in cases straining resources and hospital capacities. Telemedicine gained prominence as a way to provide care while minimizing in-person contact.

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Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

How The War Has All But Destroyed Gaza's Ailing Healthcare System

The health situation in Gaza is becoming more and more dire as Israel continues to bomb the enclave. Egyptian media Mada Masr takes a look at the history of the Palestinian health care system.

Photo of a doctor riding his bicycle past debris in Al-Bureij camp in central Gaza

A doctor rides his bicycle in Al-Bureij camp in central Gaza

Mostafa Hosny

Mosaab is 16 years old and is a leukemia patient, one of 13,000 cancer patients in the Gaza Strip who have been left without access to medical care since Israel began bombing the strip and cutting off access to water, fuel and other vital supplies. The carnage from Israel’s relentless bombing of Gaza has led to severe overcrowding in the few hospitals that are still operational, with thousands of wounded arriving daily.

“The situation is very bad. There is no medicine, no treatment, no hospitals, and we are unable to leave the house to treat my son. His condition is deteriorating, especially since he is a cancer patient and requires special care. We can’t find all of Mosaab’s medications for his lungs and stomach, antibiotics, and his chemotherapy drugs,” Mosaab’s mother tells Mada Masr. “Everything is cut off. There are no hospitals, no power transformers, no electricity, and we can’t treat him in Gaza or go to Haifa to continue his treatment.”

Before the recent attacks on Gaza, Mosaab was receiving treatment at the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, which was bombed by the Occupation’s fighter jets. As a result of the airstrikes, the second and third floors of the building were destroyed in airstrikes. Then the hospital halted its operation as it ran out of fuel, the director of the foreign relations department of the Gaza Health Ministry, Mahmoud Radwan, tells Mada Masr.

Mosaab’s mother discovered her son’s illness seven years ago, which set her off on what has been a long journey to try to treat him outside of Gaza, one that thousands of other patients in the strip undertake due to the severe shortage of medical equipment and healthcare workers even before the current attack, which exacerbated the collapse of the health sector.

After Hamas won the 2006 legislative elections, Israel and Egypt imposed an air, land, and sea blockade on Gaza in 2007, restricting the movement in and out of the strip and imposing restrictions on the health sector, as many essential medical supplies suddenly became unavailable.

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