World Health organization oPt

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report 57

Issued 23 December 2020


  • The oPt has witnessed a stabilizing trend with a slight decrease in the numbers of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases
  • Public health restrictions continue in the West Bank and Gaza Strip during December

The next Situation Report will be issued on 6 January, 2021

WHO preparedness, readiness and response

WHO is continuing to work with partners to support Ministry of Health’s (MoH) efforts to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Coordination, planning and monitoring​

  • Public health restrictions continue in the West Bank (until 2 January) and the Gaza Strip (until 31 December)


  • The WHO risk assessment remains very high
  • ​This week, the oPt witnessed a stabilizing trend with slight decrease in newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, with a 9% drop to 10,532 cases for the reporting period. This decrease reflected a drop in case numbers in the West Bank, which offset a significant increase in cases reported in Gaza
  • The number of deaths rose by 9% in the oPt and the overall Case Fatality Rate (CFR) remains at 0.9 %. The CFR is the proportion of deaths among identified confirmed cases
  • On 22 and 23 December, 12 deaths were reported in Gaza, the highest daily death toll since the start of the pandemic
  • Gaza accounts for 39.8% of all active cases, followed by the West Bank governorates  of Nablus (15.8%), Jenin and Ramallah (7%), Hebron (6.5%), East Jerusalem (6.1%) Bethlehem (4%) and Tulkarm (3.6%).

Laboratory testing and diagnostics  ​

click to watch video

A DNA extraction machine and 14 COVID-19 testing kits (to provide 1,300 tests) have been delivered to the Ministry of Health’s Central Public Health Laboratory in Ramallah to support the expansion of testing in the West Bank. The donation was made possible thanks to the Norwegian Government. 

  • The number of tests conducted in the oPt has decreased by 38% during the reporting period (18 – 23 December), with 34,879 tests conducted compared to the previous week
  • In the Gaza Strip, an average of 2,194 tests per day have been conducted in the past week (17-23 December) with a positivity rate of 32%, indicating every third person is testing positive and testing needs to be scaled up. Health authorities reported enough COVID-19 tests for 15 days until 3 January, as of 23 December
  • Local health authorities are strengthening staff capacity at the central laboratory to increase testing to 2,500 PCR tests per day
  • WHO continues to deliver COVID-19 kits to support local testing (pictured).
click to watch video

WHO delivered 100 COVID-19 testing kits (to conduct 9,600 tests) to local health authorities in Gaza to support a sustainable supply of tests for its central laboratory. Thanks to the support of the Government of Kuwait. ​​

Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), Isolation and Case Management, Operations Support and Logistics 

WHO procured and delivered 30 intensive care beds to the Ministry of Health to support the management of critical cases in the West Bank. This delivery was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Government of Kuwait. ​

  • In the Gaza Strip, the overall occupancy rate of dedicated COVID19 hospital beds is 58%, with 312 of 540 beds occupied. Currently, of the 90 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds, 47 or 52% are occupied, including five patients on invasive mechanical ventilation
  • To support management of critical cases, WHO procured and delivered 15 patient transportation trolleys and 20 ICU beds to local health authorities in Gaza, with support from the Government of Kuwait. A further delivery was made to the West Bank (pictured).

East Jerusalem:

WHO delivered the following essential medical equipment to support three East Jerusalem hospitals in the COVID-19 response: 

  • Al Makassed Hospital received 1,800 packs of surgical gloves 
  • St Joseph Hospital received 1,400 packs of surgical gloves, 40,000 disposable syringes, 476 N95 masks 
  • Augusta Victoria Hospital received 500 boxes of surgical gloves, 600 disinfectant sprays.
  • As of December 23, COVID-19 patients are being treated in the two main dedicated COVID-19 hospitals in the East Jerusalem Hospital Network, 42 at St Joseph Hospital (including 15 in the intensive Care Unit) and 15 are at Al- Makassed Hospital (including 5 in ICU). In addition, 13 COVID-19 patients are being treated at Augusta Victoria Hospital, including five patient companions.