(Last update: 3 June 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, Personal Protective Equipment (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, whilst 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

Currently there have been 338,174 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and 3,765 deaths. In the West Bank 228,151 cases have been confirmed, including 28,841 in East Jerusalem. There have been 2,754 deaths in the West Bank. A recent surge in COVID-19 cases  placed immense pressures on Palestinian health services in the West Bank, and though cases are now decline slowly many hospitals remain operating close to capacity.

In Gaza 110,023 cases have been reported and sadly 1,023 deaths. Gaza is currently experiencing a severe surge in coronavirus cases, with more than 1,000 cases per day.

On 2 February, the Ministry of Health in the West Bank began its COVID-19 vaccination programme. According to the World Health Organisation, 359,349 people have received their first vaccination in the occupied Palestinian territory, including 318,656 in the West Bank and 40,693 in Gaza, amounting to approximately six per cent of the Palestinian population. An additional 110,000 Palestinians with permits to work in Israel have reportedly received a vaccination.

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 839,458 cases recorded in Israel and 6,411 deaths. More than 60% of people in Israel have received a vaccine. All travellers entering Israel, including Israeli nationals, must undergo 14 days of home quarantine. MAP has therefore suspended visiting medical missions to the West Bank and Gaza for this period. 

Situation in Lebanon

More than 541,009 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Lebanon and 7,747 deaths. Lebanon began its vaccination programme on 14 February, with around 677, 844 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.