Gaza Strip receives 20,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines funded by UAE

A total of 20,000 doses of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccines, funded by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), arrived in the Gaza Strip on Sunday through the Rafah border crossing.

A Hamas official shows to reporters a pack of Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccines, funded by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which arrived in the Gaza Strip on Feb. 21, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)

"Today, we have received the shipment of COVID-19 vaccines funded by the UAE," Ghazi Hamad, undersecretary of the Hamas-run ministry of social development, told reporters at the border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

Hamad added that the UAE will send more doses of coronavirus vaccines to the Gaza Strip in the near future.

The arrival of the coronavirus vaccines in the Palestinian coastal enclave is "an important opportunity to save the people in Gaza Strip from the spread of the virus in light of the lack of medical staff as well as equipment," Hamad said.

The Hamas official expressed his gratitude to the UAE, which has been continuing its support to the people in the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, the Hamas-run Ministry of Health said in a statement that it will launch a vaccination campaign on Monday morning to inoculate its medical staff members in the forefront of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that it will also vaccinate those who are vulnerable to the infection of the virus, especially the elderly people.

On Wednesday, the ministry already received a batch of 2,000 doses of Sputnik V coronavirus vaccines, dispatched by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The batch of the vaccines was sent to the Gaza Strip through the Israeli-controlled commercial crossing point of Kerem Shalom.

The Gaza Strip has recorded a total of 54,642 coronavirus cases, while the tally of infections in the Palestinian territories amounted to 196,439 since March last year.

The internal Palestinian division between the Islamic Hamas movement and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas-led Fatah party began in 2007 when Hamas forcibly took over the Gaza Strip from Fatah. Since then, the Palestinian territories have been split into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and the Fatah-dominated West Bank.