Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report 45: occupied Palestinian territory, issued 24 September 2020, information for period: 5 March - 24 September 2020

Situation Report
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  • Shortages of COVID-19 test kits and supplies are being reported in West Bank and Gaza Strip

  • WHO continued to coordinate and deliver vital medical equipment and supplies, including lab kits and extraction supplies, to support the response in the occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt)

  • COVID-19 cases across the oPt so far this month rose by 37%, and by 86% in the Gaza Strip

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 received confirmation that Palestine will be eligible for GAVI support for procurement of COVID-19 vaccines - once available - through the global COVAX Facility, a collaboration to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines

A joint meeting of the Ministry of Health (MoH), UNICEF and WHO took place on 22 September to discuss the details of Palestine’s participation in the COVAX facility, following this the MoH participated in a global virtual brief on the progress and next steps required to introduce the new COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available

On 24 September, the MoH and the Consul-General of Italy with technical support from WHO co-chaired a meeting of the Health Sector partners, which focused on maintaining the essential health services, including immunisation, in times of COVID-19, amongst other important health sector developments

In the Gaza Strip, the Gaza-Egypt Rafah crossing is scheduled to open for three days starting from Sunday, 27 September 2020, allowing exit of 1,500 people to Egypt, and entry of approximately 2,000 Palestinians to Gaza

Health authorities reported that six testing centers, across the five governorates, were assigned for sample collection for PCR testing of people leaving to Egypt, according to set schedules, in order to avoid crowdedness and minimize transmission

As per the updated protocols in the Gaza Strip, all returnees are to be directed to quarantine facilities upon arrival, where they would be tested on day 7 of quarantine. Those who test negative will be discharged, while the ones testing positive will be referred to isolation facilities

The Israeli Government’s three-week lockdown continues until October 11 to address the spike in COVID-19 cases