Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) WHO Update 7 oPt, March 11, 2020

Cases reported in oPt: 30*
Deaths reported in oPt: 0
Cases reported in Eastern Mediterranean Region: 8,689 (300 deaths) in 16      countries**

WHO Risk Assessment:

  • oPt: Very High
  • Regional: Very High
  • Global Level: Very High

*Information provided by Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health March 11 at 10:00 (GMT + 2)

Situation in occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt):
  • The risk to the oPt remains very high
  • On 11 March 2020, as of 10:00am, the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Health (MoH) confirmed to WHO a total of 30 cases of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)
  • A total of 6 new confirmed cases were reported on 09 March and 5 new confirmed cases were reported on 11 March 2020, bringing the total to 30.
  • All cases except one (in Tulkarm) are from Bethlehem
  • COVID-19 cases reported from Bethlehem have developed no symptoms so far and remain currently quarantined in a hotel. A preventive medicine doctor is available on site to ensure adequate case management procedures. Infection prevention and control protocols were implemented as per WHO guidelines. Investigations and contact tracing continue. The Tulkarm patient is asymptomatic and quarantined at home
  • Further spread can be contained through consolidated action, but collective efforts are required and further resources and support will be required to enhance response efforts
  • Several donors have stepped in and pledged additional resources to support the government’s efforts and to address identified medical supply and equipment gaps.

*Information provided by Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health on March 11 at 10:00 (GMT + 2)

Response in oPt:

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

  • WHO coordinates the preparation of an inter-agency COVID-19 response plan for the oPt with a list of priority actions for the next three months. A meeting of operational Health Cluster partners took place on 11 March to finalise the plan
  • PPE kits were mobilized and provided to the MoH and health partners by WHO
  • The MOH have been accelerating their preparedness and have implemented effective measures to ensure early detection and case management of any suspected COVID-19 case and so far have ensured that:
    • quarantine and treatment facilities and emergency committees are being established in key governorates
    • the Ministry of Health has developed a new COVID-19 dashboard (in Arabic) to track cases:
    • A central operations room has been established at Prime Minister’s office to coordinate activities, including contacts with media
    • laboratory capacities of the MoH have been scaled up
    • Point of entry checks for incoming travelers are being conducted and isolation wards in health facilities have been established
    • health workers are equipped and trained in the appropriate infection prevention and control measures and case management of potential COVID-19 case
    • the general public continues to be regularly updated, including advice on how to protect themselves
    • preparedness is also progressing in Gaza but there are substantial capacity gaps to be addressed.
Situation in Eastern Mediterranean Region:

Total of 8689 COVID-19 cases and 300 deaths in Eastern Mediterranean Region:*
(*Information provided as of 11 March 2020, 06:00 CET )

  • 8042 in Iran (including 291 deaths)
  • 189 in Bahrain
  • 69 in Kuwait
  • 70 in Iraq (including 7 deaths)
  • 59 in Egypt (including 1 death)
  • 74 in United Arab Emirates
  • 61 in Lebanon (including 1 death)
  • 30 in oPt
  • 18 in Oman
  • 24 in Qatar
  • 21 in Saudi Arabia
  • 16 in Pakistan
  • 7 in Afghanistan
  • 3 in Morocco
  • 1 in Jordan
  • 5 in Tunisia.
Managing risk of COVID-19 infection:

What is the risk to individuals?

  • Recent research shows that most people infected with COVID-19 show mild illness, however, some people, in  particular older people, and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease or diabetes) are at risk for severe disease.

What action should I take?

  • If you are not in an area where COVID-19 is spreading, or have not travelled from an area where COVID-19 is spreading, or have not been in contact with an infected patient, your risk of infection is low.
  • It is understandable that you may feel anxious about the outbreak.
  • It’s a good idea to get the facts from reliable sources to help you accurately determine your risks so that you can take reasonable precautions
  • It is important to be informed of the situation and take appropriate measures to protect yourself and your family
  •  If you are in an area where there are cases of COVID-19 you need to take the risk of infection seriously. Follow the advice of WHO and guidance issued by national and local health authorities.

Protective measures:

It is important to take measures to protect yourself and your family.
Very effective protective measures people can take include:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid unprotected close contact with anyone developing cold or flu-like symptoms and seek medical care if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing
  • When visiting live markets, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals
  • Cook your food and especially meat thoroughly.

Inform yourself:

  • It is important to keep informed and updates of the situation.
  • Check the latest information on COVID-19 from key sources such as MoH, national authorities and WHO (see TwitterFacebook and oPt website), and follow and promote the recommended basic preventive and protective measures.
  • For the region, regular case updates for the Eastern Mediterranean Region are provided by the EMRO dashboard on the WHO global  dashboard for Israel.


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