Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report 37

occupied Palestinian territory, issued 23 July 2020
Information for period: 5 March – 23 July 2020


  • The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 continues to surge in the West Bank with an average of 396 new cases per day since July 1
  • On July 23, the oPt experienced record number of confirmed cases in one day at 596

WHO delivered three types of essential medical equipment to local health authorities to equip five new dedicated COVID-19 respiratory triage centers in key hospitals across the Gaza Strip on July 17. Thanks to UK Aid for supporting the delivery.

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.

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.
  • A preparedness capacity building session for representatives of the Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) in the Gaza Strip was organized by the Health Cluster, in partnership with OCHA and the Ministry of Health on July 21 (see below). The ECC is a hub for coordinating and facilitating the inter-agency humanitarian action on the ground between UN actors, national and international organizations and local authorities at times of crisis.

“It is very important to raise awareness not only among the public but also among the main humanitarian actors to make sure they know how to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 in their workplaces,” said Abdelnaser Soboh,

the Gaza Health Cluster Coordinator and the acting head of WHO’s Gaza sub-office, speaking at a preparedness capacity building session for representatives of the Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) in Gaza Strip.  ​

  • The WHO risk assessment remains very high for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)
  • The number of people testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 continues to increase
  • The total number of cases is 11,875 including 11,800 cases in the West Bank and 75 in the Gaza Strip, with three new cases reported in Gaza in this period
  • Since 1 July (to 23 July) the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) has averaged 396 cases per day, with 9,110 new cases and 61 fatalities
  • Most cases recorded are from Hebron (6,789), East Jerusalem (2,131), Jerusalem (784), Ramallah (654), Bethlehem (576), Nablus (339) and Qalqilya (143). Other governorates (Salfit, Tubas, Tulkarm and Jenin) continue to record low case numbers.
  • A total of 81 health workers are among those confirmed cases
  • Sixteen patients are in a serious condition, with four patients requiring mechanical ventilation (as of 23 July)
  • To-date, the Ministry of Health (MoH) reported a total of 3,394 cases have recovered: 3,326 in the West Bank (including 674 in East Jerusalem) and 68 in Gaza. Seventy people have died, with an overall case fatality rate (CFR) of 0.59%
  • Less than half (47%) of all confirmed cases are male (4,388 cases) and about 81.6% of all cases (7,332 cases) are below the age of 50 years in the oPt, excluding East Jerusalem.
Laboratory diagnostics
  • A total of 172,382 laboratory samples have been tested for COVID-19 according to the MoH, with 13,634 samples tested in the Gaza Strip.
Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), Isolation and Case Management, Operations Support and Logistics 
  • 23,261 Palestinians are in quarantine (home or facility-based) to prevent further spread of the disease
  • In the Gaza Strip,  259 people are in one of the five quarantine facilities which include health facilities, hotels or other designated buildings
  • WHO delivered three types of essential medical equipment to local health authorities to equip five new dedicated COVID-19 respiratory triage centers in key hospitals across the Gaza Strip on July 17. The Centers are designed to ensure that all suspected COVID-19 patients are adequately assessed and managed, separate from other patients in emergency departments to ensure containment and prevent further spread of COVID-19. The equipment is the first part of a larger incoming consignment of medical items which WHO is procuring. The delivery was made possible thanks to the generous support of UK Aid.
East Jerusalem
  • As of July 23 (12:00), the PA Ministry of Health reported 2,131 COVID-19 cases in East Jerusalem. Three deaths have been reported (CFR- 0.14%) and 174 have recovered in the same period
  • As of July 20, 16 patients are being treated in three designated COVID-19 hospitals in East Jerusalem including five patients at Augusta Victoria Hospital, seven at St. Joseph Hospital, and four at Makassed Hospital. Over the past two weeks, Makassed Hospital received 14 patients with COVID-19, discharged 12 and 2 have recovered (as of July 22)
  • In these designated hospitals in East Jerusalem, 19 health workers have tested positive for COVID-19 and 35 are under quarantine.
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