Coronavirus Disease 2019 (OPT) WHO Situation Report 85

World Health organization oPt

Coronavirus disease 2021 (COVID-19) Situation Report 85

Monthly issue: 19 November to 23 December 2021


  • New COVID-19 infections are registered leading to an increase in the number of cases across oPt. Gaza Strip leads by ratio of 42.1% of all active cases, while Ramallah takes the lead in number of cases in the West Bank (15.2%)
  • Positivity in the oPt is increasing (6.93 in West Bank and 11.3 in Gaza Strip) Rt is currently at 1.03
  • Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH) declared on 21 December registration of 6 Omicron cases in the West Bank, no cases registered yet in Gaza. MoH also said that the necessary kits for Omicron tests are now available in the West Bank.

WHO preparedness, readiness and response

WHO continues to work closely with partners to support the 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 to be renewed on monthly basis.
  • Implementation of third ‘booster’ dose to medical staff and priority groups such as children between 12-15 years old (in the West Bank), elderly and sick continues.


  • 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 4,019 COVID-19 cases detected across the oPt. Infections in the Gaza Strip still account for most of all cases, around 42%.
  • In the West Bank, numbers of cases is increasing (2,326), with 6% positivity rate over the reporting period (18 November to 23 December 2021).
  • In the Gaza Strip, positivity continues to decrease, with an average of 13.4%, during the reporting period.
  • 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 reporting period is 133,689 tests, with an overall positivity of 7.5%. In the Gaza Strip, an average of 778 tests took place per day while the average in the West Bank was 3,432 tests per day.

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

  • In the West Bank, hospitals continue to respond to COVID-19 situation accordingly: ICU bed occupancy is 58% with 54 ICU beds occupied out of 93, and 14 patients on ventilators.
  • In the Gaza Strip, the overall bed occupancy is at 17%, with 69 out of a total of 410 hospital beds currently occupied. The number of patients admitted to ICU is also increasing, with 21 patients currently occupying a total capacity of 80 beds (26%), including two patients on mechanical ventilation.

Maintaining essential services

Mass casualty management training

In a pro-active support to build the capacity of the public health system to manage large numbers of casualties at the same time beyond the system’s usual capacity the World Health Organization (WHO) completed the first of a series of Mass Casualty Management training for Shifa hospital’s emergency department in Gaza, the first of its kind in in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).

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EENC two day coaching session in 5 NGO hospitals in Gaza

During the period from November 20th and December 20th, two days coaching sessions on Early Essential Newborn Care (EENC) were conducted in 5 NGO maternity hospitals. The coaching aims at scaling up early essential newborn care, and was conducted in collaboration with MoH EENC team, and targeted 35 medical staff including 19 midwives and 6 doctors. These coaching sessions were organized under the umbrella of the AFD funded project “Strengthening Maternal, Neonatal and Young Children Health (MNCH) in Gaza” implemented jointly with UNICEF and UNFPA.

Italian Agency for the development cooperation to support reducing avoidable diseases

With a total budget of 5 million EUR the project will contribute to the strengthening of the Palestinian health system in terms of reducing avoidable disease, death and disability, The project will operate over a period of three years with interventions at the three levels of care including pre-hospital, hospital and tertiary care. WHO will work closely with the Ministry of Health, the Palestinian Red Crescent and a number of local NGOs throughout the lifetime of the project and expect to target 230,000 beneficiaries across oPt.

COVID-19 Vaccination Update

Vaccination Numbers / News (as of 22 December)

  • 1,779,198 people have been vaccinated in total across the oPt: 1,247,070 in the West Bank, and 532,128 in Gaza.
  • Of these numbers, a total of 1,528,860 are fully vaccinated: 1,108,509 in West Bank, and 420,351 in Gaza.
  • Administering of third “booster dose” of the vaccine for priority groups is ongoing across the oPt (172,374 in total).  in West Bank 146,600 doses were administered and 25,774 in Gaza.

More local information

Situation in the Eastern Mediterranean Region and Globally 

Latest WHO advice and health information:

For updated WHO Publications and Technical Guidance on COVID-19, click here 

Dr. Richard Peeperkorn, WHO oPt Head of Office,
Dr. David Lai, WHO oPt Emergencies Team Lead,
Raghda AbuShahla, Communication Officer, Gaza,
Kazem Abu Khalaf, Communication Officer, Jerusalem,


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