World Health organization oPt

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report 77

Issued 17 June 2021

Highlights

  • Active cases of COVID-19 are continuing to drop steadily across the oPt, with positivity testing rates showing a marked decline especially in the West Bank
  • Hospitals are benefiting as a result: just two people are on ICU ventilators in the West Bank, while in Gaza there are three
  • 100,000 doses of a new vaccine ‘Sputnik-Light’ are delivered to the Palestinian Authority (PA): a bilateral purchase from the Russian ‘Gamaleya’ research lab, this vaccine is administered as a single dose.

Key Performance Indicators for COVID-19 Response in oPt

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 is still in force until early July 2021
  • On 8 June, WHO facilitated a visit of the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC), Ms Lynn Hastings, to the Turkish Hospital in the Gaza Strip. During her visit, the HC met with health officials and was briefed on the humanitarian health situation, including needs and challenges, and discussed potential support from the humanitarian community.

Surveillance

  • The WHO risk assessment remains high, despite a drop in active cases across the oPt as a whole. COVID-19 infections in the Gaza Strip still account for almost all cases, at 93%
  • In the West Bank, the situation has significantly improved, with just 267 active cases, while testing has increased again with positivity dropping right down to 1.5%
  • The breakdown of active COVID-19 cases across the oPt is as follows: Gaza Strip (92.7%), followed by the West Bank governorates of Nablus (2.8%), Jenin (1.2%), Ramallah (0.9%), Tulkarm and Tubas both (0.5%), Hebron and Jericho both (0.2%) and Bethlehem (0.1%)
  • The overall Case Fatality Rate (CFR) across oPt remains at 1.1%. The CFR is the proportion of deaths among identified confirmed cases.

Laboratory testing and diagnostics

  • The number of tests conducted in the oPt has decreased by 10% during the reporting period (11 – 17 June), with 16,382 tests conducted
  • In the Gaza Strip, COVID-19 testing has picked up after the temporary drop during the recent hostilities. An average of 921 tests per day have been conducted over the past two weeks (4 – 17 June) with a positivity rate of 21%.

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 16%, with 69 of 441 beds occupied. Currently, ten of the 41 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds (24%) are occupied, with three patients on invasive ventilation
  • The medical response situation in the West Bank continues to improve significantly: ICU bed occupancy is lower again at 15% (13 ICU beds out of 86 occupied) – with just two patients now on ventilators compared to 40 five weeks ago.

Risk Communications and Community Engagement – Wear Your Mask!

Almost one year ago, WHO launched the #WearAMask challenge!

By wearing a mask, you are sending a message of solidarity and protecting people, especially those most vulnerable, from COVID-19.

One year later, active COVID-19 cases have dropped across the oPt. Wearing a mask, along with other protective measures, helps stop transmission of the virus.

Let’s keep wearing our masks until every person has been vaccinated!

COVID-19 Vaccination Update

Latest Vaccine Arrivals

  • 100,000 doses of a new vaccine called “Sputnik-light” were delivered to the PA on 12 June 2021. A bilateral purchase from the Russian ‘Gamaleya’ research lab, this vaccine is administered as a single dose
  • On 2 June, COVAX delivered 72,000 AstraZeneca vaccines, of which 62,400 doses went to the Nablus cold store in West Bank, and 9,600 doses to Gaza. More doses are due to arrive in Gaza from the West Bank shipment in time
  • One week previously, on 25 May, the third COVAX shipment arrived in oPt: 102,960 doses of Pfizer vaccines, of which 56,160 doses went to West Bank and 46,800 doses to Gaza.

Numbers of Vaccinated (as of 17 June 2021)

  • 436,275 people have been vaccinated in total across the oPt: 383,984 in the West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem), and 52,291 in Gaza. These figures represent around 8.7% of the total Palestinian population
  • Of these numbers, the total who have received their second dose are 260,713 in the oPt overall (excluding East Jerusalem)
  • The circa 110,000 Palestinian workers who have been vaccinated by Israel are included in the total numbers of vaccinated stated above
  • In the Gaza Strip, there are currently around 30 active vaccination centers, in addition to other hospitals, providing COVID-19 vaccines to people above 30 years of age
  • From 31 May, local authorities in Gaza started mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for all public sector employees, starting with staff of ministries of Health, Education, and Interior.

Global Vaccine News

  • On 1 June, WHO approved China’s Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use, the second Chinese vaccine to receive the WHO’s green light. ‘CoronaVac’ is a two-dose vaccine already being developed in several countries around the world (Read more)
  • WHO has assigned simple, easy-to-say-and-remember labels for key variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, using letters of the Greek alphabet. See the new labels here.

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