Aseel soldier - occupied Jerusalem

About 360,000 Jerusalemites live in a state of confusion in light of the outbreak of the Coronavirus, and the continued announcement by the Palestinian and Israeli Ministries of Health of new people entering the epidemic. This outbreak opened doors to ask questions about the readiness of the city and its residents to combat the virus, and the steps its hospitals have taken to address this crisis.

Jerusalemites usually receive medical services through "Israeli sick funds", while about 40,000 of them are denied these services, with the claim of the "National Insurance Institute" and the Israeli Ministry of Interior that these reside outside the borders of the Jerusalem municipality, or because of their participation in political activities that led to the denial of this right .

The only sanctuary for these is East Jerusalem hospitals such as the "Makassed Philanthropic Hospital", whose general manager Haitham Al-Hassan says that he was prepared to receive cases afflicted with corona by allocating a secluded building that was previously dedicated to neurosurgery, and contains 22 beds, including five beds for intensive care, in addition to To my operating room.

The reception department in Al-Mutlaa Hospital

Limited capabilities
But the hospital - according to Al-Hassan - lacks the specialized staff to deal with the symptoms of this virus, and "we do not have a doctor who specializes in lung diseases, and if we receive critical cases we will be in a real crisis, and we will rely on anesthesiologists and internal medicine to face the crisis."

The hospital also suffers from a shortage of medicines necessary for patients, and there are only two hundred tablets of "chloroquine", which is sufficient for only five patients.

Although the debts owed by the Palestinian Ministry of Health, as a result of transferring patients to Al-Makassed Hospital, reached 63 million shekels (about $ 17 million), the hospital director said, "We have appealed to the Palestinian Authority to pay the debts it owed, but we realize at the same time the depth of the financial crisis that is going through With it because of the virus, Arab and Islamic countries and businessmen should pay attention to us at this stage. "

As for the director of "Al Mutlaa Hospital", Walid Namour, he says that since the first case of infection appeared in the city of Bethlehem, the hospital launched a contingency plan to face this stage, and stopped providing its services to patients who could wait, and postponed many unauthorized surgeries, as the rate of operation decreased Hospital from 115% to 40%.

Private building where Makassed Hospital will receive cases of coronavirus (Al-Jazeera)

The Tigers added that the hospital had to secure overnight for dialysis patients and cancer patients, who are receiving radiation and chemical therapy sessions, in hotels in Jerusalem, in addition to many doctors, nurses and employees who cannot return to their homes under closure.

Regarding the field preparation for the epidemic, he said, "The hospital is putting the finishing touches to an external building that contains 12 beds. It will be dedicated to hospital patients only if they are infected with the virus, but it will not be able to receive external cases. Only international standards prevent the hospital from receiving patients with infectious diseases because it serves patients." Cancer and dialysis with low immunity, so the new building will be dedicated to its patients only if they contract the virus. "

On the absorptive capacity of hospitals in East Jerusalem, Tigers said, "The six hospitals are not even able to receive dozens of cases. In the beginning, we will provide 12 beds for our patients only, and the destinations will provide 22 beds, and the French hospital 28 beds, and this is the absorptive capacity at its best."

The special department that Makassed Hospital prepared to receive cases with corona (Al-Jazeera)

As for the academic, Fouad Abu Hamed, the manager of one of the branches of the Israeli sick funds (Clalit) in the town of Beit Safafa, he says that "many Jerusalemites do not know their rights in the health sector, and the lack of proficiency in many of the Hebrew language is an obstacle in front of them at this stage."

He explained that there are many who do not know who to go, and do not realize the importance of field checks, and "these data say that there are many unexplored Jerusalem sufferers."

He also referred to some of the towns that have established emergency rooms in their warehouses and clubs, saying that "it is not beneficial because it constitutes a gathering in one way or another", adding that the injured who were discovered in Beit Safafa and Sharafat are subject to bullying, especially those who did not need to go to the hospital because his condition is slight ".

He explained that their injured children are being bullied in the street, warning that "the emergency committees should prepare for such cases, and provide them with a mechanism to deliver food and medicine to them, and open a hotline for psychological support."