Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report 42: occupied Palestinian territory, issued 3 September 2020, information for period: 5 March - 3 September 2020

Situation Report
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In August, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the oPt doubled from 15,201 to 31,929

Gaza continues to report cases detected in the community with numbers rising from 41 new cases reported during last week to 446 new cases this week

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 outbreak.

Coordination, planning and monitoring

  • The Palestinian Authority’s Health Minister, Dr Mai al-Kaila, plans to visit the Gaza Strip with a delegation to support the COVID-19 response

  • In the Gaza Strip, the Health Sub-Cluster met on September 3 and was briefed by the Gaza health authorities on the status of the COVID-19 response. In addition, operational challenges and needs were discussed, especially in relation to HC partner’s emerging challenges such as ability to sustain their services. A presentation on the outcome of the recent Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) workshop, highlighting vulnerable persons and needs was also shared.

  • Local authorities have introduced stricter lockdown measures on selected COVID-19 hotspot locations in the Gaza and North Governorates (at the north end of the Strip) with no movement except for emergency purposes until further notice. Further in the south, in the Middle, Khanyonis and Rafah governorates, movement is allowed from 0:800 –20:00 and between governorates until 4 September at 22:30

  • COVID-19 testing of health workers, in-patients, contacts and suspected cases continues in the Gaza strip. A total of 7,351 tests have been conducted since August 24. People who have been in contact with positive COVID-19 cases are urged to self-identify and self-quarantine at home and maintain infection prevention control measures, in order to facilitate tracing and stop further transmission

  • Public primary healthcare service delivery is limited to 26 out of 49 Primary Health Centers (PHC) distributed across the five governorates of the Gaza Strip, which are be providing essential services only. MOH has suspended work at outpatient clinics, non-emergency surgeries and stopped visits to inpatients in all hospitals. Citizens are being urged to adhere to the instructions of infection prevention and control, and physical distancing

  • In the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority’s Council of Ministers announced a staggered introduction to the school year, beginning on September 6. School starts for students from grades one, and the rest of the classes are to be enrolled in school within two weeks.