Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report 36: occupied Palestinian territory, issued 16 July 2020, information for period: 5 March - 16 July 2020



  • The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 continues to surge in the West Bank with an average of 365 new cases per day since July 1

  • WHO has visited Hebron to consult with the governor and health teams on support priorities for this most affected governorate

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 Humanitarian Coordinator and key partners continue efforts to address the clearance of humanitarian shipments and to coordinate access of medical referral patients from Gaza to essential services outside following the suspension of bilateral agreements and coordination in response to Israel’s threatened annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank.

  • WHO met with the Governor of Hebron and members of the governorates’ COVID-19 crisis committee and the Ministry of Health, on July 15 at the municipality offices in Hebron to discuss the governorate’s response, needs and challenges in light of the surge in COVID-19 cases

  • Governor Mr Jibreen Al Bakri and members of the COVID-19 crisis committee he leads, including private and public hospital directors, briefed WHO’s Head of office, Dr Gerald Rockenschaub and his staff and highlighted their concern about the likely further rise in cases numbers over the coming weeks

  • Health professionals voiced concern over an anticipated increase of patients with severe disease mainly among vulnerable groups (including the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions) and are focusing on expanding the capacity of four hospitals in the governorate: Dura Governmental Hospital, Alia Governmental Hospital, Yatta Governmental Hospital and Muktaseb hospitals to manage cases and to scale up testing capacity

  • The meeting highlighted the significant challenges for the governorate in controlling the further spread of COVID-19, including the movement of workers and families between Israel and the West Bank; lack of adherence of some communities to public health preventive measures; some delay and backlog of tests pending processing over capacity gaps and remaining resource constraints to support case management, including the isolation of confirmed cases; and lack of equipment and supplies for intensive care management of critical cases

  • WHO and partners, in close consultation with the Ministry of Health, are targeting the population of the most affected governorates with health advice and messages to reinforce and encourage adherence to personal protective measures and supporting governorates to address their challenges by procuring the key medical equipment for critical case management.


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

  • The total number of cases is 8,616 including 8,544 cases in the West Bank and 72 in the Gaza Strip, no new cases reported in Gaza in this period

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

  • Since 1 July (to 16 July) the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) has averaged 365 cases per day, with 5,851 new cases and 40 fatalities

  • Most cases recorded are from Hebron (5,370), East Jerusalem (1,204), Bethlehem (503), Ramallah (498), Jerusalem (494) and Nablus (244). Other governorates (Salfit, Qalqiliya, Tubas, Tulkarm, Jenin) continue to record low case numbers. A total of 81 health workers are among those confirmed cases

  • Seventeen patients are in a serious condition, with six patients requiring mechanical ventilation (as of 16 July)

  • To-date, the Ministry of Health (MoH) reported a total of 1,487 cases have recovered: 1,424 in the West Bank (including 174 in East Jerusalem) and 63 in Gaza. Forty-nine people have died, with an overall case fatality rate (CFR) of 0.57%

  • Less than half (47%) of all confirmed cases are male (3,330 cases) and about 81% of all cases (5,330 cases) are below the age of 50 years in the oPt, excluding East Jerusalem.