World Health organization oPt

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report 79

Issued 12 August 2021

Highlights

  • Active cases of COVID-19 are continuing to rise across the oPt, while Gaza still has most cases
  • COVID-19 confirmed cases across the oPt is significantly increasing. More cases of the infectious Delta and Delta plus variants are emerging in the West Bank, however, and fears that the fourth wave has started.

WHO received a shipment that includes 10 Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) kits for Gaza Health Authorities in Generous donations by the Russian government. The kits (drugs and medical consumables) will be deployed to increase treatment capacity for Gaza Health facilities to help more than 300,000 patients for a period of three months in response to the recent escalation in Gaza. More two shipments are to arrive soon with thanks to the Russian Government. Russian Representative Office in Ramallah

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 in place.
  • Sub-national Health Cluster meetings were held for Gaza and the West Bank to discuss ongoing operations, challenges and priorities for the next month including the initiation of the 2022 Humanitarian Programme Cycle which starts with the identification of the humanitarian needs.
  • The Second Quarter Health Cluster Bulletin covering partners’ activities between April to June 2021 was published.

Surveillance

  • The WHO risk assessment is high now, with 2,877 active cases across the oPt. COVID-19 infections in the Gaza Strip still account for almost all cases, at 68%
  • In the West Bank, the situation is not promising, with an increase of 1,004 active cases (a double than the previous week), while testing has increased again with a positivity rate 0.6%
  • The breakdown of active COVID-19 cases across the oPt is as follows: Gaza Strip (68%), followed by the West Bank governorates of Nablus (7.2%), Jenin and Ramallah (5.4), Tubas (2%). Bethlehem (1.3%), Hebron (1.2%)
  • 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 increased by 12% during the reporting period (6 – 12 August), with 27,519 tests conducted
  • In the Gaza Strip, COVID-19 testing is rather low, with an average of 598 tests per day conducted over the past month (16 July – 12 August). However, positivity is still rather high and continues to increase, reaching 27% on 12 August- the highest reported positivity rate since late May.

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 40%, with 72 of 180 beds occupied. Currently, 5 of the 43 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds (12%) are occupied.
  • The medical response situation in the West Bank remains stable: ICU bed occupancy is around 13% (11 ICU beds out of 86 occupied) – with two patients now on ventilators.

Provision of equipment and supply

WHO had procured and delivered essential equipment and medications to Gaza’s health facilities with generous funding from the EU Humanitarian Aid (ECHO).
WHO procured sixteen inflatable tents, equipment, medications and consumables for the national EMTs in Gaza and Gaza’s six main emergency departments.
WHO is helping develop national Emergency Medical Teams (EMTs) and strengthen the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in the Gaza Strip by pre-positioning lifesaving supplies and equipment.

Sustaining essential services

  • As part of its support to MoH in integrating mental health services into the primary healthcare (PHC) level, WHO organized two training workshops on the Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) Intervention Guidelines. The workshops targeted 50 health workers, including physicians and nurses working at PHC centres, across the Gaza Strip.
  • In response to the May escalation, WHO organized a number of self-care and psychological first aid sessions for UNRWA PHC workers, in the Gaza Strip. During the reported period, WHO 12 rounds of 2-days sessions were conducted, targeting 250 health workers, including physicians, nurses, and paramedics.

COVID-19 Vaccination Update

Latest Vaccine Arrivals

  • The Minister of Health, Dr Mai Al-Kaila announced today 12 August, the arrival of 150,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine to oPt as part of the deal to purchase 4 million Pfizer vaccine doses from Pfizer company.
  • Dr Mai added too that MoH has sent 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Gaza Strip, of which 49,140 Pfizer vaccine doses and 50,000 Sputnik V vaccine doses.
  • The Ministry of Health announced on 4 August that 203,580 doses of Pfizer vaccine have arrived to West Bank. On 29 July, 171,990 doses of Pfizer vaccine have arrived to oPt, of which 121,990 doses went to West Bank and 50,000 went to Gaza.
  • 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.

Numbers of Vaccinated (as of 12 August)

  • 626,279 people have been vaccinated in total across the oPt: 512,416 in the West Bank, and 113,863 in Gaza. These figures represent around 22 % of the target Palestinian population (18 years and above) of these numbers, the total who have received their second dose is 426,973 in the oPt overall (excluding East Jerusalem)
  • In the Gaza Strip, there are currently 28 active vaccination centers, in addition to other hospitals, providing COVID-19 vaccines to people above 18 years old, across Gaza Strip.
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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