(Last update: 1 April 2020)

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) is carefully monitoring the situation with regards to Coronavirus (COVID-19, or 2019-nCoV) in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), Israel and Lebanon. 

On Tuesday 18 March MAP released hygiene kits to be utilised at two schools in Rafah and two locations in Khan Younis that have been allocated to receive people returning to Gaza through the Rafah Crossing from Egypt for quarantine. On 23 March we provided Gaza’s health sector with essential drugs and medical consumables, as well as 500 sterile gowns. 

We are continuing our contingency planning with regards to impacts on our programmes and the need for additional support to health services, and will update supporters as this develops. We will also update supporters with any relevant changes to fundraising challenge events as necessary.

As needs arise, our emergency response will include the procurement of essential medicines.

Situation in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel

Currently there are 117 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the occupied Palestinian territory and sadly one death. In the West Bank 105 cases have been confirmed and sadly one death. In Gaza 12 cases have been confirmed. The latest local updates from the World Health Organization (WHO) are available on their website here.

The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced a 30-day "state of emergency" on 5 March, closing schools, restricting non-essential travel between areas, and canceling foreign tourist reservations and international conferences. On 23 March full lock-down measures were introduced in the West Bank.
 
In Gaza and the West Bank all Palestinian citizens coming back from abroad are placed under a mandatory quarantine for a period of 14 days in quarantine centres. 

There are 4,831 confirmed cases in Israel and sadly 17 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 463 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lebanon and sadly 12 deaths. The latest local updates from the WHO are available on their website here.

On Monday 16 March, the Government in Lebanon closed restaurants, shopping centres and all but essential services for two weeks and advised citizens to stay at home except in extreme circumstances.

MAP’s community midwives are taking precautionary preventive measures including hand washing, antiseptic lotions, and gloves, and are conducting individual health education sessions for beneficiaries. MAP is procuring additional supplies of face masks and hand sanitiser for our midwives. They have already 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.