Coronavirus Disease 2019 (OPT) WHO Situation Report 83

World Health organization oPt

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report 83

Issued 21 October 2021

As of this issue biweekly COVID-19 Situation Reports will be discontinued and replaced by monthly reporting.


  • New COVID-19 infections appear to be slowing down across the oPt particularly in the West Bank, while over three quarters of all active cases remaining in Gaza.
  • Positivity in the oPt continues to decline reaching 11.69%. Slight increase in Rt however it remains under 1.
WHO global hand hygiene campaign SAVE LIVES – Clean Your Hands
In recognition to the WHO Global Hand Hygiene Day, WHO oPt supported the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) committee in Al-Nasr paediatric hospital with their voluntary initiative to conduct hand hygiene awareness campaign at schools in Gaza. The initiative targeted 3,502 students in five primary schools including 1,780 girls and 1,722 boys.

The campaign’s theme for this year was “Seconds save lives” which entailed promoting hand hygiene among school students teaching them to clean their hands at the right time and in the right way.

WHO preparedness, readiness and response

WHO continues to work closely with partners to support Ministry of Health’s (MoH) efforts to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Coordination, planning and monitoring​

  • The state of emergency over COVID-19 decreed by President Mahmoud Abbas continues in place.
  • Implementation of third ‘booster’ dose to medical staff and priority groups such as elderly and sick.


  • Amidst the fourth COVID-19 wave in the West Bank and the third wave in the Gaza Strip, the overall number of active cases is declining to11,527 COVID-19 cases detected across the oPt. Infections in the Gaza Strip still account for most of all cases, at 81.7%.
  • In the West Bank, numbers of cases are slowing down, and are now at 2,105. Positivity dropped to 4.98 % from 7.31% a fortnight ago.
  • The overall Case Fatality Rate (CFR) across oPt remains at 1%. The CFR is the proportion of deaths among identified confirmed cases.

Laboratory testing and diagnostics

  • The number of tests conducted in the oPt over the third week of October stands at 34,940 tests, and an overall positivity of 11.69%.
  • In the Gaza Strip, testing has decreased, with an average of 2,080 tests per day over the past two weeks, while positivity remains rather high at an average of 22%.
  • On 17 October, WHO delivered to the Gaza Central Lab Stores 30 kits of SARS-CoV-2 real-time PCR mutations detection tests, that are enough to conduct a total of 2,880 tests. The procured items will enable health authorities to detect the main four SARS-CoV-2 variants: B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), P.1 (Gamma) and B.1.617 (Delta). This activity was made possible with support from the Humanitarian Pooled Fund.

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

  • In the Gaza Strip, the number of patients requiring hospitalization is gradually decreasing, with an overall bed occupancy of 33%, with 181 beds out of a total of 555 currently occupied.
  • Bed occupancy at intensive care units (ICU) is also improving, with 25 patients (28%) occupying a total capacity of 90 beds, including two patients on mechanical ventilation.
  • In the West Bank, hospitals continue to respond to COVID-19 situation accordingly: ICU bed occupancy is 55% (compared to 79% in the previous report) with 58 ICU beds occupied out of 101, and 11 patients on ventilators (down from 19 two weeks ago).
  • As part of its ongoing efforts in supporting the health system’s response to the COVID-19 emergency, WHO is supporting Gaza health authorities in conducting a series of trainings for a total of 100 nurses and 50 doctors to build their capacity in intensive care management of COVID-19 patients. So far, a total of 33 and 45 junior doctors and nurses have benefited from the trainings, which use combined methods including printed material, face-to-face presentations, in addition to practical workstations.
  • As part of the International Infection Prevention and Control Week, WHO supported health authorities in conducting a series of activities to raise the awareness of healthcare workers and those attending to health facilities on the importance of infection prevention and control. The activities included 6 lectures targeting healthcare workers in public hospitals and primary healthcare centers; a seminar with participation from 150 senior Ministry of Health (MoH) personnel, public health experts, and partner organizations; and an awareness raising campaign for the general public, including in five primary schools (refer to the above pictures). More than 7,000 people, including 3,500 school children, are estimated to have benefited from the conducted activities.

Maintaining Essential Services

COVID-19 Vaccination Update

Vaccination Numbers / News (as of 21 October)

  • 1,522,054 people have been vaccinated in total across the oPt: 1,055,435 in the West Bank, and 466,619 in Gaza. These figures represent around 50.52% of the target Palestinian population (16 years and above).
  • Of these numbers, a total of 1,244,873 are fully vaccinated: 924,392 in West Bank, and 320,481 in Gaza.
  • Administering of third “booster dose” of the vaccine for priority groups is ongoing across the oPt. 4,064 doses were administered in West Bank and 6,216 in Gaza.
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