Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report 78
Issued 15 July 2021
- Active cases of COVID-19 are continuing to slightly decrease across the oPt, while Gaza still has the vast majority of cases in the oPt
- More and more cases of the infectious Delta variant are emerging in the oPt. There are fears that the fourth wave of COVID-19 is around the corner
- As of 15 April, 560,195 people have been vaccinated in total across the oPt: 466,522 in the West Bank, and 93,673 in Gaza. These figures represent around 11% of the total Palestinian population.
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 has been extended for a further 30 days. It will continue until early August 2021
- On 4 July, Health Cluster Conducted field visits along with MedGlobal to Indonesian Hospital and Caritas in Gaza, Rafidya Hospital, in Nablus, Alia and Al Muhtaseb Hospitals in Hebron, PRCS in Ramallah and MAP in Ramallah. These visits were necessary to identify the priority needs and the area of support and collaboration.
- 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 90.5%
- In the West Bank, the situation has significantly improved, with just 150 active cases, while testing has increased again with positivity dropping right down to 0.5%
- The breakdown of active COVID-19 cases across the oPt is as follows: Gaza Strip (90.5%), followed by the West Bank governorates of Jenin (3.1%), Tulkarm (1.4), Hebron and Ramallah (1.3%), Jerusalem (0.9%), Tubas (0.5%), Bethlehem (0.4%), Nablus (3%)
- 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 13% during the reporting period (9 – 15 July), with 19,752 tests conducted
- In the Gaza Strip, COVID-19 testing is rather low, with an average of 695 tests per day conducted over the past month (18 June – 15 July). Positivity rates are slightly declining while remaining rather high at 11%.
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 27%, with 48 of 180 beds occupied. Currently, 2 of the 43 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds (5%) are occupied
- The medical response situation in the West Bank continues to improve significantly: ICU bed occupancy is slightly higher at 16% (14 ICU beds out of 86 occupied) – with seven patients now on ventilators compared to 15% a week ago
- As part of its ongoing efforts to support the Palestinian health system, WHO, with support from WHO EMRO, conducted an advanced beginner training for 40 ICU doctors on intensive care management. This capacity-building activity was delivered over 3 sessions, 5 days each, and combined both practical and theoretical learning methods, including self-learning, lectures, and skill stations.
Gaza: Trauma, Emergency & Surgical Care
WHO has completed an assessment of the Emergency and Surgical departments of seven hospitals in Gaza, showing the impact of the recent escalation of hostilities on the entire health system. Long before the May 2021 hostilities, WHO’s Trauma & Emergency Care Programme was in Gaza helping its health system to prepare for crisis. Thanks to generous contributions from ECHO and other donors, WHO’s trauma programme was able to support capacity building and provide vital medical equipment and supplies to increase preparedness at hospitals in Gaza and improve the treatment of hundreds of people.
Sustaining essential services
- WHO conducted coaching on Early Essential Newborn Care (EENC) for 82 MoH staff from four hospitals. Targeted staff included obstetricians, neonatal doctors and midwives
- WHO, in collaboration with MOH, conducted a workshop to discuss the progress of implementing EENC activities in the four public maternity hospitals, including key challenges, and to agree on action plans for the upcoming period. The workshop was attended by 35 MoH staff, including EENC teams, heads of NICUs and obstetric departments, and representatives of the primary healthcare mother and child department
- WHO, in collaboration with UNICEF, supported MoH with breastfeeding pillows, towels and gowns for EENC, which are enough to benefit 3,000 mothers and 5,000 newborns.
COVID-19 Vaccination Update
Latest Vaccine Arrivals
- The Minister of Health Dr Mai Al-Kaila announced on 14 July that 109,000 doses of COVID – 19 vaccine were sent to Gaza. 49,950 doses are Sputnik Light, and 59,670 103,000 doses are Pfizer.
- 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 15 July 2021)
- 560,195 people have been vaccinated in total across the oPt: 466,522 in the West Bank, and 93,673 in Gaza. These figures represent around 11% of the total Palestinian population of these numbers, the total who have received their second dose are 398,324 in the oPt overall (excluding East Jerusalem)
- In the Gaza Strip, there are currently 32 active vaccination centers, in addition to other hospitals, providing COVID-19 vaccines to people above 18 years old, across the Gaza Strip, including 18 UNRWA primary healthcare centers.
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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