COVID-19 Emergency Situation Report 27 (14-28 January 2021)

COVID-19 tests are being carried out at the Central Laboratory in the city of Ramallah (Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency)

OCHA   /  January 28, 2021

UN Office for the Coordination of Human Assistance


  • Thirty-seven per cent decline in active cases throughout the oPt.
  • Public health restrictions further eased in Gaza.
  • Israel temporarily closes air and land crossings to halt the spread of new COVID-19 variants.

Situation Overview

The reporting period witnessed a 37 per cent decrease in active COVID-19 cases in the oPt, with 8,810 additional Palestinians testing positive, and 13,957 people recovering, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH). The cumulative number of cases is 177,426, with 166,441 people recovered from the virus. The number of patients in intensive care units (ICU) continues to decline from 93 at the end of the previous reporting period, to 64, including those requiring mechanical ventilation, decreasing from 25 to 18. 

A total of 176 people died, bringing to 1,990 the cumulative number of fatalities due to the virus, 1,473 in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and 517 in the Gaza Strip. The Case Fatality Rate (CFR), the proportion of deaths among confirmed cases, remains at 1.1 per cent in the oPt, slightly above Israel (0.75), but lower than Jordan (1.3 per cent), and Egypt (5.5 per cent).

Gaza accounts for 50 per cent of all active cases in the oPt, followed in the West Bank by the Ramallah governorate (10 per cent), the East Jerusalem area (nine per cent), and the Nablus governorate (nine per cent). 

In response to the decrease in infections, the authorities in Gaza have eased public health restrictions at the weekends.  In the West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem), the lockdown regulations that entered into effect on 2 January have been extended until 1 February. The Israeli authorities have also extended the current lockdown until at least 31 January, with these measures also applying to occupied East Jerusalem. Additional restrictions have been adopted, include prohibiting all incoming and outgoing passenger flights to and from Israel, from midnight 26 January, and closing the land crossings with Egypt and Jordan from 06:00 28 January until 17:00, 31 January. 

On 25 January, all public schools in the oPt re-opened for Grades 7 to 11, adopting a blended approach of face-to-face and distance learning; Grades 1-6 returned on 6 January. UNRWA has decided not to reopen its schools, and to continue with distance learning only.

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