World Health organization oPt

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report 80

Issued 9 September 2021

Highlights

  • Active cases of COVID-19 infections continue to rise across the oPt, with the significant majority still occurring in Gaza (60%) where deaths have trebled in one week
  • A dedicated vaccination drive in the Gaza Strip has seen more vaccine uptake in the last two weeks than in the entire six-month period before that when vaccinations first started
  • COVAX delivered yet more vaccines to oPt in the month of August: 500,000 Moderna and 100,000 Pfizer, bringing the total number of vaccines in oPt to just under three million.

COVAX Delivers More Vaccines

On 24 August 2021, COVAX delivered another shipment of vaccines to oPt: 500,000 Moderna vaccines donated by the US government, of which 300,000 doses were allocated for the West Bank and the other 200,000 destined for the Gaza Strip. WHO in oPt works with its partners in COVAX to make sure Palestinians are getting these much-needed coronavirus vaccines, and thanks the US government for its generosity.

On 25 August 2021, COVAX also delivered 100,000 doses of Pfizer vaccines to oPt.

#VaccinesSaveLives #TheSoonerTheSafer

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
  • Also in West Bank, medical staff and priority groups such as the elderly and sick are to receive the third ‘booster’ dose, while universities must vaccinate up to 70% of administrative and academic staff for the school year to continue
  • In Gaza, the MoH has now halted mandatory vaccination of governmental staff members, service providers and high school students until more vaccines are available.

Surveillance

  • The WHO risk assessment remains high, with 30,764 active cases across the oPt, a jump of 150% since two weeks ago. COVID-19 infections in the Gaza Strip still account for the majority of all cases, at just below 60%.
  • In the West Bank, numbers of cases have been rising steadily week by week, and are now at 12,312, while testing has doubled allowing for a fall in positivity to 14% from 22% a week ago
  • The breakdown of active COVID-19 cases across the oPt is as follows: Gaza Strip (59.3%), followed by the West Bank governorates of Nablus (11.4%), Tulkarm (9.5%), Ramallah (4.5%), Jenin (4.4%), Qalqilya (3.9%), Salfit (3.1%), Hebron (1.1%) and Tubas (0.7%)
  • The overall Case Fatality Rate (CFR) across oPt remains at 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 55% during the reporting period (3 – 9 September), with 88,176 tests conducted, and an overall positivity of 19%
  • In the Gaza Strip, COVID-19 testing has quadrupled over the past month, with an average of 4,875 tests per day during the month of September. However, positivity is still rather high, reaching 29% on 9 September.

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

  • In light of the increased number of COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization, Gaza health authorities expanded the number of beds allocated for COVID-19 management to 470, including 85 intensive care units (ICU). The overall COVID-19 bed occupancy currently is 73%, with 341 of 470 beds occupied. Fifty-one out of the 85 ICU beds (60%) are taken up, with seven patients on mechanical ventilation
  • In the West Bank, hospitals continue to respond to the escalating COVID-19 situation: ICU bed occupancy has risen again, this time to 74% (up from 58% a week ago) with 67 ICU beds occupied out of 90, and 13 patients now on ventilators.

COVID-19  Vaccine Awareness Campaign in Gaza’s Mosques

In a creative effort to encourage the uptake of COVID-19 vaccination by the public in Gaza, the PA MoH and WHO launched a month-long campaign targeting up to 20,600 worshipers inside mosques all over the Strip. Twelve health promoters conducted over 240 educational sessions in different localities of the Gaza Strip.

They focused on busting myths and disinformation about vaccines and delivered 54,000 health promotion publications and 6,000 masks.

https://youtu.be/AfujKpgMRek

COVID-19 Vaccination Update

Latest Vaccine Arrivals

  • On Wednesday 25 August, 100,000 Pfizer vaccines were delivered to oPt via the COVAX mechanism: 40,000 doses went to Gaza and 60,000 to West Bank
  • The previous day, on Tuesday 24 August, a shipment of 500,000 Moderna vaccines arrived in oPt also via the COVAX mechanism, donated by the US government: 200,000 doses were delivered to Gaza, while 300,000 were delivered to West Bank.

Vaccination Numbers / News (as of 9 September)

  • 1,185,157 people have been vaccinated in total across the oPt: 840,339 in the West Bank, and 344,818 in Gaza. These figures represent around 39.5% of the target Palestinian population (18 years and above)
  • Of these numbers, the total who have received their second dose 488,469 in the oPt overall (excluding East Jerusalem): 407,055 in West Bank, and 81,144 in Gaza
  • Gaza health authorities have increased the number of vaccination centres to around 49, fourteen of which are operating double shifts to offer vaccinations to those aged 16 and over
  • On 25 August, authorities in Gaza launched a campaign with incentives to encourage older people to get vaccinated
  • Concerns are rising that an increase in vaccination demand might not be met by the existing vaccine and consumables supplies.

Key supplies monitored by the Health Cluster related to COVID-19 supplies delivered or in the pipeline

More local information

Situation in the Eastern Mediterranean Region and Globally 

Latest WHO advice and health information:

For updated WHO Publications and Technical Guidance on COVID-19, click here 

Further information:

Dr. Richard Peeperkorn, WHO oPt Head of Office, peeperkornr@who.int
Dr David Lai, WHO oPt Emergencies Team Lead, laidavid@who.int
Ms Nicola Baldwin, WHO oPt Communications Officer, baldwinn@who.int