Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) WHO Situation Report 63

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report 63

Issued 11 February 2021


  • The number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases have increased in the West Bank; this may be potentially related to new virus variants
  • COVID-19 cases in the Gaza Strip continue to decline
  • The PA Ministry of Health continues to prioritize vaccination of health workers in the second week of its COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

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.

Key Performance Indicators for COVID-19 Response in oPt 

Coordination, planning and monitoring​

  • To prepare for COVID-19 vaccination to commence in the Gaza Strip, WHO supported health authorities in conducting a training-of-trainers for 38 UNRWA and MoH healthcare workers (HCW) that will be directly involved in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign.


  • The WHO risk assessment remains very high
  • This week, the number of new COVID-19 cases increased, with a 41% rise in newly recorded cases, while a 13% drop in deaths was recorded
  • 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 33.8% of all active cases in oPt, followed by the West Bank governorates of Ramallah (14.4%), East Jerusalem (12.1%), Nablus (8.3%), Hebron (6.7%), Bethlehem (5.6%), Tulkarm (3.2 %) and Jenin (2.5%)
  • The PA Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Palestinian National Institute of Public Health (PNIPH), the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics and with support from WHO conducted a survey to estimate the age/sex-specific prevalence of COVID-19 among the general population in the West Bank and Gaza using seroprevalence testing. The survey teams collected more than 6,000 blood samples and data in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Samples were tested for immunoglobulin markers expected to be present in the blood of those who had been infected with COVID-19.  The preliminary findings suggest that an estimated 40% of the Palestinian population tested positive for immunoglobulin markers related to SARS-CoV-2, with up to 10% more women showing positive test results (45%) than men (35%). The final report of the survey alongside with recommendations and next steps will be published once the full data analysis is completed and validated by the end of Q1 of 2021.

Laboratory testing and diagnostics  ​

  • The number of tests conducted in the oPt has increased by 7% during the reporting period (5 – 11 February), with 29,316 tests conducted
  • In the Gaza Strip, an average of 2,092 tests per day have been conducted over the past week (5 – 11 February) with a positivity rate of 7.5%. In the Gaza Strip, health authorities reported enough COVID-19 tests (PCR) for 84 days, until 30 April (as of 7 February).

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

  • As of 11 February, the overall occupancy rate of COVID-19 dedicated hospital beds in the Gaza Strip is 12%, with 64 of 540 beds occupied. Currently, 8 of the 90 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds (9%) are occupied, with two patients requiring invasive mechanical ventilation
  • Earlier this month, WHO delivered essential medical equipment to the European Gaza Hospital, Gaza’s COVID-19 designated hospital, and infection prevention and control supplies to the Limb Reconstruction Centre. In addition, laboratory items were delivered to Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis. Both deliveries were provided with funding from the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation.

Supporting Essential Services  

  • WHO prepared an assessment report on mass casualty management preparedness at Gaza’s five main hospitals. This report focused on capacity building needs, medical equipment needed and space at the emergency departments during mass casualty incidents. The purpose of this assessment is to provide an up-to-date view on mass casualty management preparedness, and to help outline the needs for further support to these emergency departments
  • WHO installed a surveillance system for Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) in five governorates, to help monitor and track the ambulances to improve their services in the Gaza Strip.

COVID-19 Vaccine  

  • The Palestinian Authority’s MoH launched its COVID-19 vaccination campaign on 2 February with 2,000 doses of Moderna vaccines and 10,000 Sputnik V vaccines. More than 2,200 people received their first doses, with health workers in intensive care units and COVID-19 designated facilities being initially targeted as a priority group.  The PA MoH is working with relevant authorities to arrange for the delivery of initial vaccine supplies to Gaza
  • The global COVAX AMC Facility, working in partnership with WHO and UNICEF, confirmed that the oPt will receive the following vaccine batches in coming weeks:
  • 37,440 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for potential distribution from mid-February for frontline health workers, subject to approvals of supply agreements with manufacturers. More than 11,000 doses are planned to be delivered to Gaza to immunise frontline health workers directly managing the COVID-19 cases in COVID-19 designated health facilities
  • A shipment of 240,000 doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine for potential distribution from mid to late February, subject to receiving WHO’s Emergency Use Listing approval and other relevant approvals.

Risk Communications and Community Engagement 

  • The COVID-19 Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) Campaign, led by WHO, UNICEF and MoH is focusing its efforts on supporting the uptake of COVID-19 vaccinations
  • In partnership with the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), the campaign is rolling out rapid response surveys to gauge community opinions; community engagement training for key partners and health workers to advocate for vaccine uptake; and a mass media campaign
  • The national campaign continues to produce fortnightly communication products (including social media cards and videos) to support vaccine uptake, the latest is available here
  • All campaign materials including brochures and videos, by topic, are available to download here and a sample of the latest materials are picture below
  • To receive the RCCE materials on a fortnightly basis please contact Arwa Mhanna  at WHO.

Why is it important to get the COVID-19 vaccine? 

How do you know when is your turn to get the vaccine?

How do you prepare to take the COVID-19 vaccine safely? Click here to watch the video.

Take a photo whilst being vaccinated and share it to encourage your loved ones to get vaccinated 

More local information


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