GAZA: Health authorities said on Sunday that as many as 31 premature babies in “very critical condition” were shifted safely Sunday from Al-Shifa in Gaza and will be transferred to Egypt. According to AP, more than 250 patients with severely infected wounds and other urgent conditions remained stuck in the hospital days after Israeli army entered the hospital.
The newborns from Gaza’s main hospital were receiving immediate care in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. The babies had hypothermia, dehydration, and sepsis in several cases, said Mohamed Zaqout, director of hospitals in the Gaza Strip. He confirmed that four other newborn babies passed away in the two days before the evacuation, he added.
In a statement, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it had led a valuation mission to Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza and determined it was a “death zone”, urging a complete evacuation.
War on Gaza: Thirty-One Premature Babies are Evacuated from Al-Shifa Hospital
“WHO and its partners were immediately developing plans for the urgent evacuation of the remaining patients, staff members and their families,” the UN health agency.
WHO stated it had headed a joint UN team, including logistics officers, public health experts, and security staff from several agencies on a short and “very high-risk” mission into Al-Shifa hospital on Saturday.
AFP reported that the UN team was meanwhile only able to spend just an hour in the hospital due to the security situation. The team, WHO stated, described the hospital as a “death zone” and the situation as “worried”.
The team also saw a mass grave at the hospital and were told over 80 people were buried there,” WHO said.
The death toll in Israeli strikes on Gaza since October 7 has reached 13,000, including more than 5,500 children and 3,500 women, local media reported on Sunday.
According to the government office in Gaza, the number of wounded has exceeded more than 30,000, with over 75% of them being women and children.
The administration stated that the number of missing people crossed 6,000, with most of them suspected of lying under the debris of the destroyed buildings.
UN chief Antonio Guterres has said that he was “deeply shocked” that two United Nations schools were struck within 24 hours in Gaza, killing and injuring dozens of innocent people mostly children and women “as they were seeking protection in UN premises.”