The UNRWA Health Department is leading on the Agency’s COVID-19 response and continues to issue a one-page daily sitrep with the latest epidemiological data.
Syria There are growing fears of a major outbreak with the rise in local transmissions. Testing capacity in Syria remains very limited at an estimated 1,000 PCR tests per day and urgent technical and operational support is needed. The first COVID-19 cases amongst Palestine refugees have been confirmed and 28 UNRWA staff members are suspected of contracting coronavirus. UNRWA is carrying out contact tracing and a staff rotation system has been reintroduced to reduce the numbers of staff in Agency offices.
Lebanon Due to several confirmed COVID-19 cases amongst UNRWA staff members Lebanon Field Office (LFO) continues to operate a “work from home” policy.
West Bank A second surge of COVID-19 over the last month has resulted in a significant increase in the number of confirmed cases in 16 refugee camps across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Hebron area in the south is the worst affected. Thirty-one UNRWA staff members have been positively diagnosed with COVID-19 and over 100 staff who were in direct contact with them remain in quarantine.
The Education Department has been working with all Fields on planning for the Catch Up and Back to Learning/School. The planning reflects the findings of the Agency-wide and Field-specific surveys, i.e. on students’ access to technology and experience of delivering education during the lockdown and the outputs of its work with the Interagency group i.e. UNESCO, UNICEF, WFP, UNHCR, and the World Bank, and ministries of education.
COVID-19 Response Updates From 13 April to late May, UNRWA produced six Weekly Updates on its COVID-19 response and then two Fortnightly Updates (25 May-7 June and 8-21 June). The Updates are now being produced on a monthly basis. In addition, a summary of the Agency’s COVID-19 response covering March to June has been issued. Click here for the summary