Patients of destroyed Gaza hospital at risk of death without evacuation, warns WHO chief

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The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that failure to quickly carry out medical evacuations following the destruction of al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza could lead to further fatalities.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a media briefing on Wednesday commented on the destruction of al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City following the Israeli army’s two-week raid, saying “the situation looks disastrous.”

The urgency to speed up the evacuation process was emphasized by the WHO chief, as he expressed concerns about the potential loss of numerous lives if action is not taken promptly.

“The people who need medical evacuation will increase, and medical evacuation is already slow,” Tedros said, adding that “people will die because they will not get the services either from Shifa or because of slow evacuation, because they cannot be evacuated.”

He also added that he is “appalled” that the al-Shifa hospital has been put out of action and that much of it has been badly damaged or destroyed.

Al-Shifa was the largest hospital and main referral center in the Gaza Strip, with 750 beds, 26 operating rooms, 32 intensive care rooms, a dialysis department and a central laboratory.

Israel claims Hamas fighters operate from in and around hospitals, which the Palestinian resistance movement and medical staff reject.

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