(Last update: 24 July 2020)

In response to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19, or 2019-nCoV) in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and Lebanon, Medical Aid for Palestinian (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. We are prioritising 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. We are also supplying out-of-stock medicines and disposables to Gaza’s hospitals to support the care of the critically ill.

At all times, MAP’s response will be guided by priority lists provided by the World Health Organization 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 are 11,875 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and sadly 71 deaths. In the West Bank 11,800 cases have been confirmed, including 2,131 in East Jerusalem. There have been 70 deaths in the West Bank. The southern governorate of Hebron has been hardest hit, with at least 6,789 confirmed cases of COVID-19 according to the World Health Organization. In Gaza 75 cases have been reported and sadly one death. The latest local updates from the World Health Organization (WHO) are available on their website here.

The Palestinian Authority declared a renewed 30-day “state of emergency” on 6 July. Lockdowns of badly-affected areas have been imposed, as has a ban has on public gatherings including weddings and graduation parties. On 12 July the Palestinian Authority announced a new set of measures and precautions including a full ban on the movement of passengers and vehicles between governorates and a full closure of the governorates of Hebron, Bethlehem, Ramallah, and Nablus for four more days.

In Gaza and the West Bank all Palestinian citizens coming back from abroad are placed under a mandatory quarantine in quarantine centres. 

There are currently 54,369 confirmed cases in Israel and sadly 427 deaths. 

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

Currently there are 3,104 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lebanon and 43 deaths. UNRWA has reported that 23 Palestinian refugees have been confirmed COVID-19 positive since the start of the outbreak in Lebanon on 21 February. 

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

On 22 May, the Lebanese government extended its ongoing lockdown due to an increase in COVID-19 infections. Introduced measures include a nationwide curfew between 12am and 5am.

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 corona virus 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.