oPt

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report 35: occupied Palestinian territory, issued 9 July 2020, information for period: 5 March - 9 July 2020

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Highlights

  • The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 continues to surge in the West Bank with an average of 383 new cases per day since July 1

  • The Palestinian Authority has extended the movement restrictions from 8 July for a further five days

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 in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).

Coordination, planning and monitoring

  • The suspension of bilateral agreements and coordination in response to Israel’s threatened annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank continues to impact access to essential services outside for referral patients as well as the import and customs clearance of essential medical equipment and supply shipments. The Humanitarian Coordinator and key partners are working to address the clearance of humanitarian shipments and coordinate exit of urgent medical referral cases

Surveillance

  • The WHO risk assessment remains very high for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

  • The total number of cases in oPt is 5,829 including 5,757 cases in the West Bank and 72 in the Gaza Strip, no new cases reported in Gaza in the same period

  • The number of people testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 continues to increase

  • Since 1 July (to 9 July) the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) has averaged 383 cases per day in July, with 3,064 new cases and 16 fatalities

  • Most cases recorded are from Hebron (4,027) East Jerusalem (609), Jerusalem (281), Bethlehem (20), Nablus (210) and Ramallah (157). Other governorates (Salfit, Qalqiliya, Tubas, Tulkarm, Jenin) continue to record low case numbers. A total of 14 health workers are among those confirmed cases

  • Twenty-three patients are in a serious condition, with three patients requiring mechanical ventilation (as of 9 July)

  • The Prime Minister’s office extended the lockdown from 8 July for five more days allowing only pharmacies, bakeries and supermarkets to open; factories and banks are exempt with safety measures; movement of goods allowed within governorates

  • The Palestinian Authority warned those who violate the safety measures are subjected to fines, closure of their commercial establishments and detention.

  • Cases are expected to continue to rise in hot spots and most affected communities due to challenges related to: staff shortages impacting contact tracing and follow up of mild cases in home isolation; supply gaps affecting infection protection control and case management, including local shortages of personal protective equipment for frontline health workers; the need for public health protection measures like physical distancing and hygiene measures to be adhered to; difficulty complying with home isolation for mild and moderate cases due to over-crowded living conditions

  • To-date, the Ministry of Health (MoH) reported a total of 699 cases have recovered: 639 in the West Bank (including 174 in East Jerusalem) and 60 in Gaza. Twenty-five people have died, with an overall case fatality rate (CFR) of 0.42%

  • Less than half (47%) of all confirmed cases are male (1,927 cases) and about 83% of all cases (3,063 cases) are below the age of 50 years in the oPt, excluding East Jerusalem.