UPDATED: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Update 21

occupied Palestinian territory, issued 12 April 2020 (epidemiological wk 7)

Information for period: 5 March -12 April 2020

Highlights
  • Second death reported from COVID-19 in West Bank
  • The number of recovered patients has increased to 57
  • Today (April 12) WHO delivered testing kits and supported the transfer of a PCR machine procured in Jordan to enhance testing capacity for COVID-19 in the Gaza Strip
  • Health authorities in Gaza continue to appeal for support to procure additional lab test kits
  • WHO has supported local health authorities in the Gaza Strip to conduct a simulation-based training exercise to help build the capacity to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Today (April 12) WHO delivered testing kits (via Allenby crossing, pictured) for screening up to 960 people for COVID-19, including for 480 people in Gaza. WHO also supported a handover of the PCR machine used to test for COVID-19 to Gaza.

WHO Preparedness, readiness and response

WHO is continuing to work with partners to support Ministry of Health’s (MoH) efforts to respond to the COVID-19 situation in the occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt).

Surveillance

  • Since the last report on 9 April, a further five cases have been reported in the West Bank including one death on 10 April: a 55-year-old man from Tulkarem Governorate who was admitted to Hugo Chavez Hospital in critical condition.
  • The total number of cases in all oPt is 268, including 255 cases in the West Bank and 13 in the Gaza Strip. In the West Bank, most cases are from Jerusalem Governorate (108), followed by Ramallah (59) and Bethlehem (54). In Gaza Strip, all are from Gaza City
  • No new cases were reported in Gaza for the same period
  • To-date, the Ministry of Health (MoH) reported a total of 57 cases have recovered and two people have died: case fatality rate (CFR) is 0.75%
  • More than two third of all confirmed cases are male (180 cases) and more than 80% of all cases (216 cases) are below the age of 50 years.
Laboratory diagnostics
  • A total of 17,329 samples have been processed in the oPt according to MoH
  • Today (April 12) WHO transferred testing kits from Jordan for screening up to 960 people for COVID-19 , including for 480 people in Gaza. WHO also supported delivery and transport of a PCR machine used to test for COVID-19 donated by the NGO Rahma Worldwide from Jordan to Gaza
  •  In the Gaza Strip, health authorities are continuing to appeal for support to procure additional lab testing kits. Some quarantine samples have accumulated in Gaza, and as a result people are waiting to be released from quarantine. A total of 2,082 samples have been tested, including some outside of Gaza
  •  WHO has procured additional test kits, to be delivered from abroad and to be distributed to supply the Gaza Strip and the West Bank upon arrival.

Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), Isolation and Case Management and Operations support and logistics

  •  In the West Bank, the local authorities established 16 quarantine centres to receive incoming travelers, including workers from Israel, arriving to the West Bank. Additional community-based quarantine centres are in the process of being established in Palestinian refugee camps across the West Bank
  •  In the Gaza Strip, nine people have recovered from COVID-19 and moved to quarantine facilities at Rafah crossing, while four confirmed cases remain in isolation at Rafah crossing field hospital. More than 623 people are in one of the 18 designated quarantine facilities which include primary health facilities, schools or hotels
  •  WHO supported local health authorities in Gaza to conduct a simulation-based training exercise targeting 31 people (including medical and non-medical staff  such  as doctors, nurses, janitors, transporters) at the Gaza-European hospital on April 2. The simulation was repeated multiple-times by different groups to correct some identified gaps and helped assess the capacity of the health system to manage confirmed COVID-19 cases and implement infection prevention and control measures
  •  Five drug items for case management of COVID-19 cases and 2,500 gowns have been delivered to health authorities in Gaza on 9 April 2020. This was made possible thanks to the oPt humanitarian pooled fund.
  •  WHO and the Palestinian National Institute of Public Health are supporting the MoH in finalising the hospital preparedness plan for a potential surge of COVID-19 patients
  • WHO and UNICEF continue to scale up procurement efforts to mobilize life-saving essential Intensive Care Unit and ventilator equipment through global supply mechanisms.
Simulation to support health authorities in Gaza to respond to COVID-19

Risk Communications and Community Engagement (RCCE)

The COVID-19 Risk Communications and Community Engagement Campaign, led by WHO and UNICEF, is in its fourth week (8-15 April) and has:

  •  Shared messages via 20 social media cards and two videos on multiple social media channels; daily radio advertising; billboards, TV and disseminated brochures across the oPt
  •  Developed specific messaging for Palestinian workers returning to the West Bank and Gaza from Israel (in partnership with ILO, Ministry of Labor and PNGO) to address stigma, protection measures and quarantine. The Campaign is distributing 157,000 brochures with MoH and UNRWA and has disseminated messages across 15 new billboards in Gaza
  •  Plans to distribute 3 million text messages to reach 1.5 m people over four weeks across vulnerable communities in the oPt in the week of the 12 April 2020, including refugee camps, Area C, East Jerusalem areas, and villages with clusters of COVID-19 cases) on the Jawaal network. Texts on other networks are being negotiated
  •  Supported the preparations for the launch of “Hack the Crisis Palestine” the first all-virtual hackathon in Palestine on 15-18 April 2020, to fight COVID-19 and generate solutions for health providers, patients, as well as communities in need. Gaza Sky Geeks is running the hackathon in partnership with UNICEF, WHO, UNFPA, and others.

COVID-19 dashboard by WHO for oPt

WHO launched a dashboard to provide daily information on the COVID-19 outbreak in occupied Palestinian Territory, including confirmed and recovered cases, deaths and geographical locations of cases. Click on the image to take a look.
WHO oPt Dashboard