OCHA / October 20,2020
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- Over 6,600 new COVID-19 cases recorded in the oPt, but active cases continue to decline; 90 more people die.
- 1,400 more cases of community transmission, and another five fatalities reported in Gaza.
- The Inter-Agency Response Plan for the oPt is 49 per cent funded.
During the reporting period, some 6,641 additional Palestinians in the oPt tested positive for COVID-19, and 7,445 recovered, resulting in a 12 per cent decrease in active cases, from 7,597 to 6,703. The decline in active cases is partially attributed to the limited testing, driven by the shortage of testing kits, particularly in the West Bank; only Palestinians who are traveling and those exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 can be tested. Over 460,000 laboratory samples have been tested for COVID-19 since the start of the crisis, and the positivity rate for those tested stands at around 11.5 per cent
During this period, 90 more people died, bringing to 492 the cumulative number of fatalities due to the virus, 464 in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and 28 in the Gaza Strip. The case fatality rate in the oPt remains low by global standards at 0.8 per cent. Thirty-five patients are in intensive care units (ICU), six of whom require mechanical ventilation, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH).
Hebron and East Jerusalem account for over 50 per cent of cumulative cases since the start of the pandemic, although Gaza now has the largest share of active cases (28 per cent).
The oPt is one of 92 countries to receive funding through the COVAX Facility, a global risk-sharing mechanism for pooled procurement and equitable distribution of eventual COVID-19 vaccines, which will cover up to 20 per cent of vaccine needs. WHO, UNICEF and other key partners are also supporting the MoH to develop a COVID-19 vaccine deployment plan to ensure the smooth introduction of a COVID-19 vaccine, as soon as it becomes available.
In the West Bank, the state of emergency declared by the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been extended to the end of October. In Israel, the general lockdown, applicable also to annexed East Jerusalem, was eased from midnight 17 October, allowing for the reopening of kindergartens and certain places of work, among other relaxations. In Gaza, the authorities have further eased the lockdown measures imposed in August, although a night curfew still remains in place.
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