Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) WHO Situation Report 74

World Health organization oPt

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report 74

Issued 29 April 2021


  • 1000 new COVID-19 cases a day in the Gaza Strip – authorities impose tighter restrictions and compulsory quarantine in designated facilities for travelers from India and Bangladesh
  • In the West Bank, infections continue to decline, but hospitals remain busy with 83% of ICU beds occupied
  • The PA MoH says that 99% of the COVID-19 virus circulating in Palestine is from the highly contagious British Variant B.1.1.7

It’s World Immunization Week!

Immunization reaches more people than any other health service, connecting families with health care systems, reducing strain on hospitals and ensuring everyone has access to the care they need.

Vaccines work to bring us closer.
to a healthier future for everyone

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​

  • The state of emergency over COVID-19 decreed by President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank continues until 3 May 2021
  • Local authorities in Gaza have curbed vehicular movements again alongside the tighter restrictions overall, including:
  • Taking legal action against COVID-19 patients disobeying self-isolation orders
  • Imposing a compulsory quarantine in designated facilities upon travelers entering Gaza from India and Bangladesh, starting from 27 April.


  • The WHO risk assessment remains high: COVID-19 infections in the Gaza Strip account for the majority of all cases in the oPt, with new cases slowly subsiding, but numbers are still high with deaths in the last week at record levels
  • In the West Bank, new infections are also declining slowly, but hospitals are still struggling
  • The breakdown of active COVID-19 cases across the oPt is as follows: Gaza Strip (63.9%), followed by the West Bank governorates of Nablus (14.1%), Tulkarm (5.6%), Jenin (3.9%), Ramallah (3.7%), Hebron (3.2%), Qalqilya (1.5%) and Bethlehem and Tubas both (0.8%)
  • The overall Case Fatality Rate (CFR) across oPt remains at 1.1 %. The CFR is the proportion of deaths among identified confirmed cases
  • The PA MoH says that 99% of the COVID-19 virus circulating in Palestine is from the B.1.1.7 variant (first identified in the UK), which is considered 45% more contagious than the original virus

Laboratory testing and diagnostics

  • The number of tests conducted in the oPt has decreased by 21% during the reporting period (16 – 29 April), with 29,819 tests conducted
  • In the Gaza Strip, an average of 2,494 tests per day have been conducted over the past week (23 – 29 April) with a positivity rate of 30%.

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

  • The overall occupancy rate of COVID-19 dedicated hospital beds in the Gaza Strip is 57%, with 334 of 587 beds occupied. Currently, 44 of the 77 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds (57%) are occupied, with 9 requiring invasive mechanical ventilation
  • The medical response situation in the West Bank remains critical: ICU bed occupancy has risen again to 83% (145 ICU beds occupied, with 40 patients on ventilators).

Maintaining Essential Health Services

WHO Conducts Medical Training for Mobile Teams

WHO is holding training sessions in Gaza run by NYCMedics, a global disaster relief organisation that deploys mobile medical teams worldwide. 60 medical staff, doctors and nurses from Gaza’s five main emergency departments are participating in a six-week-long online course on Mass Casualty Management.

COVID-19 Vaccination Update

Latest vaccine arrivals

  • On 17 April, an additional 72,000 doses of AZ vaccines arrived in the oPt through the COVAX facility: 43,200 doses were delivered to the West Bank on 19 April, while Gaza got 28,800 doses
  • PA Health Minister Mai Alkaileh stated on Voice of Palestine radio (20 April) that the OPt has bought 4.5 million doses of the Pfizer and Sputnik V coronavirus vaccines at a cost of $27.5 million. Alkaila said the vaccines will arrive ‘soon’
  • A donation of 20,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccine from the Russian Federation to the PA MoH is scheduled to arrive in the oPt on 29 April.

Vaccination coverage

  • 253,937 people have been vaccinated in total across the oPt: 217,441 in the West Bank, and 36,496 in Gaza. These figures represent around 5% of the total Palestinian population, and 8% of those targeted for vaccination, according to the PA MoH
  • Of these numbers, the total who have received their second dose are 164,094 in the oPt overall. In the West Bank that number is 138,348; and in Gaza it is 25,746
  • Israel completed on 20 April its ‘second phase’ of vaccinating around 110,000 Palestinian workers who received their first doses on 7 March (COGAT.Arabic FB). These numbers are included in the total numbers of vaccinated stated above.
  • A recent study from Public Health England shows that the UK COVID-19 vaccination programme has prevented 10,400 deaths in those aged 60 and older up to the end of March, referring to the use of its three approved vaccines including AstraZeneca (Read more).

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