Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report 36

occupied Palestinian territory, issued 16 July 2020
Information for period: 5 March – 16 July 2020

Highlights

  • The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 continues to surge in the West Bank with an average of 365 new cases per day since July 1
  • WHO has visited Hebron to consult with the governor and health teams on support priorities for this most affected governorate

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).

Coordination, planning and monitoring

  • The Humanitarian Coordinator and key partners continue efforts to address the clearance of humanitarian shipments and to coordinate access of medical referral patients from Gaza to essential services outside following the suspension of bilateral agreements and coordination in response to Israel’s threatened annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank.

Feature: WHO visits Hebron to support the COVID-19 response​

The Governor of Hebron Mr Jibreen Al Bakri welcomed WHO at his offices this week

  • WHO met with the Governor of Hebron and members of the governorates’
    COVID-19 crisis committee and the Ministry of Health, on July 15 at the municipality offices in Hebron to discuss the governorate’s response, needs and challenges in light of the surge in COVID-19 cases
  • Governor Mr Jibreen Al Bakri and members of the COVID-19 crisis committee he leads, including private and public hospital directors, briefed WHO’s Head of office, Dr Gerald Rockenschaub and his staff and highlighted their concern about the likely further rise in cases numbers over the coming weeks
  • Health professionals voiced concern over an anticipated increase of patients with severe disease mainly among vulnerable groups  (including the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions) and are focusing on expanding the capacity of four hospitals in the governorate: Dura Governmental Hospital, Alia Governmental Hospital, Yatta Governmental Hospital and Muktaseb hospitals to manage cases and to scale up testing capacity
  • The meeting highlighted the significant challenges for the governorate in controlling the further spread of COVID-19, including the movement of workers and families between Israel and the West Bank; lack of adherence of some communities to public health preventive measures; some delay and backlog  of tests pending processing over capacity gaps and remaining resource constraints to support case management, including the isolation of confirmed cases; and lack of equipment and supplies for intensive care management of critical cases
  • WHO and partners, in close consultation with the Ministry of Health, are targeting the population of the most affected governorates with health advice and messages to reinforce and encourage adherence to personal protective measures and supporting governorates to address their challenges by procuring the key medical equipment for critical case management.

Surveillance

  • The WHO risk assessment remains very high for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)
  • The total number of cases is 8,616 including 8,544 cases in the West Bank and 72 in the Gaza Strip, no new cases reported in Gaza in this period
  • The number of people testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 continues to increase
  • Since 1 July (to 16 July) the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) has averaged 365 cases per day, with 5,851 new cases and 40 fatalities
  • Most cases recorded are from Hebron (5,370), East Jerusalem (1,204), Bethlehem (503), Ramallah (498), Jerusalem (494) and Nablus (244). Other governorates (Salfit, Qalqiliya, Tubas, Tulkarm, Jenin) continue to record low case numbers. A total of 81 health workers are among those confirmed cases
  • Seventeen patients are in a serious condition, with six patients requiring mechanical ventilation (as of 16 July)
  • To-date, the Ministry of Health (MoH) reported a total of 1,487 cases have recovered: 1,424 in the West Bank (including 174 in East Jerusalem) and 63 in Gaza. Forty-nine people have died, with an overall case fatality rate (CFR) of 0.57%
  • Less than half (47%) of all confirmed cases are male (3,330 cases) and about 81% of all cases (5,330 cases) are below the age of 50 years in the oPt, excluding East Jerusalem.

Laboratory diagnostics 

WHO delivered  tests and reagents for almost 8,000 people in the Gaza Strip. Thanks to Austrian Development Agency for their generous support. 

  • A total of 147,494 laboratory samples have been tested for COVID-19 according to the MoH, with 13,387 samples tested in the Gaza Strip
  • WHO is contributing to  a stable supply of COVID-19 testing kits and reagents for people suspected of having COVID-19 in the Gaza Strip. This week, with generous support from the Austrian Development Agency, WHO delivered tests and reagents to benefit 8,000 people (pictured). WHO continues to support authorities in Gaza and the West Bank in scaling up their testing capacity to quickly identify, isolate and trace people with COVID-19, in order to prevent further spread of the disease.

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

WHO and MDM France have delivered essential supplies including disposable gowns, masks and disinfectants to support PRCS emergency medical teams in the Gaza Strip to implement adequate infection prevention and control measures during the COVID-
19 outbreak.

  • 30,244 Palestinians are in quarantine (home or facility-based) to prevent further spread of the disease
  • In the Gaza Strip, 261 people are in one of the six quarantine or treatment facilities which include health facilities, hotels or other designated buildings
  • Pallets of disposable gowns, masks, disinfectants and water pumps for five ambulance stations were among supplies that have been delivered this month by MDM France, supported by WHO, to Palestine Red Crescent Society, the main frontline emergency medical service provider in the Gaza Strip. These supplies are essential to protect 150 health workers and help them implement adequate infection prevention and control measures during the COVID-19 outbreak. Thanks to EU aid for their generous support.

East Jerusalem

  • As of July 16 (11:00), the Ministry of Health reported 1,204 COVID-19 cases in East Jerusalem. Three deaths have been reported (CFR- 0.25%) and 174 have recovered in the same period
  • Hospitals of the East Jerusalem Hospital Network (EJHN) continue to receive COVID-19 patients at three designated hospitals. At Al-Makassad Hospital, two people with COVID-19 are being treated. Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH) is providing care to three COVID-19 patients in its isolated ward (who were already admitted and subsequently were diagnosed with COVID-19). In terms of capacity, AVH has 12 dedicated beds, of which four can provide intensive care including
    ventilator treatment. St. Joseph Hospital has currently no acute COVID-19 patients. It has prepared an isolated COVID-19 ward with 28 beds, of which 12 provide the possibility for ventilator treatment. In total, 15 health workers from these three hospitals have been infected with COVID-19.  (Update by the EJHN as of July 7).

Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE)

These social media cards are part of the COVID-19 RCCE campaign supported by the UN, NGOs and private sector. The left card advises on how to manage stress and the second card promotes everyone’s right to access essential health services during COVID-19 

  • RCCE continues in response to the surge in COVID-19 cases in the West Bank
  • WHO, UNICEF and the MOH are focusing communication efforts with media and NGOs around Hebron and Nablus to disseminate public health messages to help control the spread of COVID-19
  • Latest key messages focus on preventative measures (staying home, physical distancing, protecting the vulnerable, wearing masks correctly, hand washing); health advice for health workers and those in home quarantine; mental health support and stigma
  • Click here to access the social media cards, videos and messages and contact Alice Plate to get involved in dissemination: platea@who.int

Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE)

These social media cards are part of the COVID-19 RCCE campaign supported by the UN, NGOs and private sector. The left card advises on how to manage stress and the second card promotes everyone’s right to access essential health services during COVID-19 

  • RCCE continues in response to the surge in COVID-19 cases in the West Bank
  • WHO, UNICEF and the MOH are focusing communication efforts with media and NGOs around Hebron and Nablus to disseminate public health messages to help control the spread of COVID-19
  • Latest key messages focus on preventative measures (staying home, physical distancing, protecting the vulnerable, wearing masks correctly, hand washing); health advice for health workers and those in home quarantine; mental health support and stigma
  • Click here to access the social media cards, videos and messages and contact Alice Plate to get involved in dissemination: platea@who.int

More local information


Document Type: Situation Report, Update
Document Sources: World Health Organization (WHO)
Subject: Health
Publication Date: 16/07/2020