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Occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt): COVID-19 Emergency Situation Report 15 (29 July – 11 August 2020)

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HIGHLIGHTS

• The overall number of COVID-19 cases rises by almost forty per cent and 32 more people die.

• The number of active cases remains stable at around 8,000.

• The Rafah Crossing between Gaza and Egypt re-opened for the first time since mid-May.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

The cumulative number of Palestinians in the oPt who have contracted COVID-19 increased by 40 per cent over the course of the reporting period, from 13,938 on 28 July to 19,594 (as of 16:00 hrs, 11 August). The number of people who recovered also rose significantly, from 6,033 to 11,168, with the result that the number of active cases only recorded a slight increase, from 7,824 to 8,313. Thirty-two more people have died, bringing to 113 the cumulative number of fatalities to date. Fourteen patients are in intensive care units (ICU), with three requiring mechanical ventilation. A total of 240 health workers are among the people confirmed with COVID-19 (as of 10 August). Almost all the 5,656 additional cases detected during the reporting period were in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), with Hebron accounting for over 50 per cent of active cases. Five new cases were detected in the Gaza Strip in persons in quarantine centres.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH), since the onset of the pandemic, nearly 217,000 laboratory samples have been tested for COVID-19. Over 17,000 Palestinians are in home quarantine in the West Bank and some 271 in quarantine centres in Gaza, in order to monitor their symptoms and ensure early detection. (All data as of 10 August).

In the Gaza Strip, all schools reopened on 8 August, with approximately 600,000 students starting the academic year. The MoE and UNRWA have implemented a series of protection measures necessary for the safe return of students and of school staff, based on global guidance and frameworks. In the West Bank, the Ministry of Education (MoE) has postponed the reopening schools to 6 September, except for 12th grade students who returned on 9 August.

There is growing concern about a surge in domestic gender-based violence (GBV), taking place in the context of the pandemic-related movement restrictions and increasing socio-economic hardship; the number of reported cases of femicide recorded so far in the oPt stands at 24, the same number as in all of 2019. There are complaints about mistreatment, or the lack of, or slow response, by the police. Additionally, due to the halt in PA coordination with the Israeli authorities since late May, which came in response to Israeli government threats to annex parts of the West Bank, some alleged perpetrators of GBV are reportedly hiding in Area C, where the Palestinian police are not authorized to access.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.