As of 16 June, 690 Palestinians, in total, are confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 in the oPt, with 60 new cases recorded in the reporting period. These include 184 cases in East Jerusalem, a further 434 cases in the remainder of the West Bank, and 72 in the Gaza Strip. There are currently 115 active cases, with 570 cases recovered and five deaths reported since the start of the outbreak.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH), since the onset of the crisis, 66,469 laboratory samples have been tested. The cumulative number of Palestinians in quarantine since the onset is 96,150. However, the number of people in home or facility-based quarantine has dropped significantly, from almost 23,000 during the last reporting period, to just 1,830 by 13 June.
The MoH and the humanitarian community continue to address critical gaps in laboratory supplies and other medical equipment, including life-saving ventilators and essential Intensive Care Unit (ICU) equipment. Despite the effective ending of the State of Emergency across the oPt at the end of May, the World Health Organization (WHO) continues to encourage people to adhere to the recommended measures, including physical distancing and personal hygiene measures, in light of reports of widespread public flouting of the regulations.
The movement restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic have drastically reduced domestic economic activity and external trade across the oPt, with Palestinian Authority (PA) monthly revenues declining to their lowest levels in at least two decades. This will have significant consequences for public welfare, employment, and the financial and fiscal stability of the PA itself; “without recourse to international borrowing or significant additional budget support from donors, the Palestinian Government will be forced to adopt severe austerity measures.” According to the World Bank, the Palestinian economy is expected to decline by at least 7.6 per cent in 2020, and potentially as much as 11 per cent, in the case of a slower recovery or further restrictions imposed due to another outbreak.
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