Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report 42

occupied Palestinian territory, issued 03 September 2020
Information for period: 5 March – 03 September 2020

Highlights
  • In August, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the oPt doubled from 15,201 to 31,929
  • Gaza continues to report cases detected in the community with numbers rising from 41 new cases reported during last week to 446 new cases this week
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 outbreak.

Scaling up testing in Gaza: today WHO delivered 50 COVID-19 testing kits and 4000 swabs to the local health authorities in the Gaza Strip which will help screen more than 4,900 people to help scaling up testing and contain the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19  within the community.

 Coordination, planning and monitoring ​
  • The Palestinian Authority’s Health Minister, Dr Mai al-Kaila, plans to visit the Gaza Strip with a delegation to support the COVID-19 response
  • In the Gaza Strip, the Health Sub-Cluster met on September 3 and was briefed by the Gaza health authorities on the status of the COVID-19 response. In addition, operational challenges and needs were discussed, especially in relation to HC partner’s emerging challenges such as ability to sustain their services.  A presentation on the outcome of the recent Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) workshop, highlighting vulnerable persons and needs was also shared.
  • Local authorities have introduced stricter lockdown measures on selected COVID-19 hotspot locations in the Gaza and North Governorates (at the north end of the Strip) with no movement except for emergency purposes until further notice. Further in the south, in the Middle, Khanyonis and Rafah governorates, movement is allowed from 0:800 –20:00 and between governorates until 4 September at 22:30
  • COVID-19 testing of health workers, in-patients, contacts and suspected cases continues in the Gaza strip. A total of 7,351 tests have been conducted since August 24. People who have been in contact with positive COVID-19 cases are urged to self-identify and self-quarantine at home and maintain infection prevention control measures, in order to facilitate tracing and stop further transmission
  • Public primary healthcare service delivery is limited to 26 out of 49 Primary Health Centers (PHC) distributed across the five governorates of the Gaza Strip, which are be providing essential services only. MOH has suspended work at outpatient clinics, non-emergency surgeries and stopped visits to inpatients in all hospitals. Citizens are being urged to adhere to the instructions of infection prevention and control, and physical distancing
  • In the West Bank,  the Palestinian Authority’s Council of Ministers announced a staggered introduction to the school year, beginning on September 6. School starts for students from grades one, and the rest of the classes are to be enrolled in school within two weeks.
Surveillance 
  • 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 rise
  • The total number of cases is 31,929 including 31,348 cases in the West Bank and 581 in the Gaza Strip
  • In the month of August, the number of COVID-19 cases increased by 50 per cent (or 16,101 cases), averaging 519 cases per day. The highest daily total for number of cases confirmed for oPt was recorded on 31 August at 875
  • Most cases recorded are from Hebron (13,552), East Jerusalem (7,458), Jerusalem (2,378), Ramallah (2,303), Bethlehem (1,604), Nablus (1,332), Qalqilya (924), Jenin (299) Tulkarm (386), Salfit (105) and Tubas (85).
  • A total of 400 health workers are among those confirmed cases
  • In the West Bank, 28 patients are in a serious condition (ICU), with five requiring mechanical ventilation (as of 2 September, 14:00).
  • In the Gaza Strip, the total number of confirmed cases is 581, including 500 active cases, five deaths and 76 recovered. Out of the active cases, 20 are in a moderate to severe condition, including three patients receiving care in intensive care units (ICU). A total of 70 health workers are among those cases
  • To-date, the Ministry of Health (MoH) reported a total of 21,670 cases have recovered: 21,594 in the West Bank (including 5,575 in East Jerusalem) and 76 in Gaza. One hundred and eighty-nine people have died, with an overall case fatality rate (CFR) of 0.59%
  • More than half (53%) of all confirmed cases are female (10,923 cases) and about half of all cases (15,028 cases) are below the age of 50 years in the oPt, excluding East Jerusalem.
Laboratory diagnostics   
  • A total of 301,836 laboratory samples have been tested for COVID-19 according to the MoH
  • Today, WHO delivered 50 testing kits to screen 4,900 people for COVID-19 and 4,000 swabs for COVID-19 testing to local health authorities in the Gaza Strip (see image). This delivery is critical to support the scale up of testing to help contain the outbreak of COVID-19 within the community. Thanks to the Austrian Development Agency for supporting the delivery
  • West Bank Residents now about the inquire about COVID-19 test results online at https://result.moh.ps/.
Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), Isolation and Case Management, Operations Support and Logistics  
  • On 2 September, WHO supported the training of 230 Ministry of Health (MoH) health workers in the five governorates of the Gaza Strip on case definition and infection protection control measures
  • 22,8019 Palestinians are in quarantine (home or facility-based) to prevent further spread of the disease
  • In the Gaza Strip, 679 people are in one of 16 quarantine facilities which include health facilities, hotels or other designated buildings
Risk Communications and Community Engagement (RCCE

To address the sudden escalation in cases in the Gaza Strip, the COVID-19 Risk Communication and Community Engagement Campaign, led by WHO, UNICEF and MoH and supported by partners has:

  • Broadcast of radio messages daily on 6 channels in Gaza
  • Released an Emergency Media Pack with social media materials, videos, brochures and radio resources to media and NGOs in Gaza to inform and guide the public on the best preventative measures for COVID-19
  • Targeted residents with specific Facebook promotions on basic preventative measures
  • Organised printing and dissemination of more than 170,000 health advice brochures for MOH and NGOs
  • scheduled 1 million text messages to be sent to residents
  • Met with NGOs and partners to further map the response
  • launched an interactive media campaign and song with local NGOs
  • Developed an animated children’s TV program
More local information