Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) WHO Situation Report 61

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report 61

Issued 28 January 2021


  • The oPt COVID-19 confirmed cases continued to decrease during the reporting period
  • The National Deployment and Vaccination Plan has been finalised by the Ministry of Health with support from WHO and UNICEF and other partners; it covers all preparedness aspects to ensure a smooth COVID-19 vaccination campaign, once vaccines become available through the COVAX facility or through other sources
  • A Prime Minister Office (PMO) coordinated dedicated Health Sector Working Group meeting discussed the latest updates on ongoing vaccine mobilization efforts with donors and partners
  • Movement restrictions are gradually lifted in the Gaza Strip.

WHO delivered 10 COVID-19 extraction kits to local health authorities in the Gaza Strip. These kits will be sufficient to conduct 20,000 tests which will contribute to maintaining the testing capacities critical for controlling the spread of the virus. This delivery was possible thanks to the support of the Croatian Government.  

WHO preparedness, readiness and response

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

Coordination, planning and monitoring​

  • Public health restrictions in the West Bank, including movement restrictions in and between governorates and on weekends, continue until 1 February
  • In the Gaza Strip on 22 January, local authorities eased part of the movement restrictions after six weeks of complete weekend lockdowns, permitting pedestrian movement on weekends while vehicle movement and movement between governorates is still prohibited
  • The Israeli government announced land border crossings, including Jordan River, Taba and Arava, will be closed to Israelis and foreigners on 28 January at 6:00 until further notice. The Allenby Bridge crossing to Jordan will remain open for residents of the West Bank
  • On 28 January 2021, the Palestinian Authority PMO and the Ministry of Health organised a dedicated Health Sector Working Group meeting. Partners and donors were updated on latest developments of the COVID-19 situation and on preparatory efforts and progress of the PA to mobilize COVID-19 vaccines and get ready for the vaccine introduction and roll out of the vaccination campaign, once vaccines become available through COVAX or other sources.


  • The WHO risk assessment remains very high
  • This week, the number of new COVID-19 cases continued to decrease, with a 3% drop in newly recorded cases and a 38% drop in deaths for the reporting period
  • The overall Case Fatality Rate (CFR) remains at 1.1 %. The CFR is the proportion of deaths among identified confirmed cases
  • Gaza now accounts for 50.5% of all active cases in oPt, followed by the West Bank governorates of Ramallah (9.9%), Nablus (8.8%), Ramallah (9.9%),
    East Jerusalem (9.3%), Hebron (3.8%), Tulkarm (3.5 %), Bethlehem (2.8%) and Jenin (2.1%)
  • For the first time since mid-November (16 November), Gaza reported a day with no deaths on 25 January.

Laboratory testing and diagnostics  ​

On 28 January, WHO delivered 150,000 swabs essential for laboratory testing of COVID-19 to local health authorities in Gaza to support ongoing testing efforts. Thanks to the generous support of oPt Humanitarian Fund. 

  • The number of tests conducted in the oPt has increased by 5% during the reporting period (22 – 28 January), with 27,709 tests conducted compared to the previous week
  • In the Gaza Strip, an average of 1,989 tests per day have been conducted in the past week (22 – 28 January) with a positivity rate of 12.4%. On 28 January, health authorities reported enough COVID-19 tests for 18 days until 12 February
  • During the reporting period, WHO procured and delivered 10 COVID-19 extraction kits and 150,000 swabs (see pictures) to support local health authorities in the Gaza Strip to maintain their testing capacity, thanks to the Croatian Government and oPt Humanitarian Fund.

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

  • As of 28 January, the overall occupancy rate of dedicated COVID-19 hospital beds in the Gaza Strip is 17%, with 91 of 540 beds occupied. Currently, 9 of the 90 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds (10%) are occupied, including one patient requiring invasive mechanical ventilation.

COVID-19 Vaccine  

  • The Palestinian Authority MoH has finalised the COVID-19 National Deployment and Vaccination Plan (NDVP) with support from WHO, UNICEF and partners. The NDVP outlines strategies for the implementation and monitoring of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign across the oPt
  • The Palestinian Authority MoH continues to finalise operational preparations to be ready to receive first vaccine batches through the global Gavi COVAX AMC Facility. 


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