(Last update: 22 November 2021)

In response to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19, or 2019-nCoV) in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and Lebanon, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) is prioritising infection prevention and control, and the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers.

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We are responding through our teams and partners on the ground in the West Bank, Gaza and the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon; supporting Ministries of Health, East Jerusalem NGO hospitals and Palestine Red Crescent Society hospitals. In the early stages of the pandemic we prioritised infection prevention and containment, providing hygiene kits to quarantined families, PPE for health workers, COVID-19 testing kits and antiseptics/disinfectants to help prevent further spread of the disease. MAP's more recent support has included providing continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) respirators, oxygen generators, and essential medicines and disposables to Gaza’s hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients with severe breathing difficulties.

At all times, MAP’s response is guided by priority lists provided by the World Health Organisation and Ministries of Health, while our well-established local and regional procurement systems will ensure that essential items reach hospitals, primary healthcare centres and community partners as quickly as possible. 

Situation in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel

New COVID-19 infections appear to be slowing down across the oPt, although numbers are still rising in both the West Bank and Gaza, with over two thirds of cases remaining in Gaza.

Currently there have been 457,950 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the oPt and 4,770 deaths. In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, 271,825 cases have been confirmed. There have been 3,143 deaths in the West Bank including East Jerusalem. A recent surge in COVID-19 cases placed immense pressures on Palestinian health services in the West Bank, and though cases are now declining slowly, many hospitals remain operating close to capacity.

In Gaza 186,125 cases have been reported and sadly 1,627 deaths

On 2 February, the Ministry of Health in the West Bank began its COVID-19 vaccination programme. According to the World Health Organisation, 1,606,553 people have received their first vaccination in the oPt, including 1,113,011 in the West Bank and 493,542 in Gaza, amounting to approximately 50% of the Palestinian population.

Read MAP's position paper on vaccine access in Palestine

The latest local updates from the World Health Organization (WHO) are available on their website here.

There have been 1,340,615 cases recorded in Israel and 8,176 deaths. More than 70 per cent of people in Israel have received a vaccine.

Situation in Lebanon

659,404 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Lebanon and 8,645 deaths. Lebanon began its vaccination programme on 14 February, with around 3,822,121 doses now given. Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are covered by the country's national vaccination plan.

The latest local updates from the WHO are available on their website here.

MAP’s community midwives continue to provide essential care to expectant and new mothers and their new-born babies in Palestinian refugee camps. MAP has procured face masks, antiseptic lotions and gloves so the midwives can safely conduct individual health education sessions.

MAP has procured additional supplies of face masks and hand sanitiser for our midwives. They have also received hard copies of the WHO printed coronavirus material and are reporting daily to our maternal and child health centres and visiting beneficiaries in the camps as usual.

The latest global updates from the WHO are available here.

Travel and health advice

The latest travel advice from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office regarding COVID-19 is available on their website here.

The WHO’s health and prevention advice to the public is available here, and advice from NHS England here.