Photo Credit: Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90
PA security forces block the entrance to the Balata refugee camp, June 28, 2020.

Worldometer, the reference website that provides counters and real-time statistics for diverse topics, including most recently statistics relating to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic (but its accuracy and methodology has been questioned), includes the “State of Palestine” as one of the legitimate countries of the world, despite the fact that it only exists in the feverish minds of some Arab, European and American politicians, has no recognized borders, no national currency, and largely depends on a host country—Israel—for everything.

Nevertheless, the State of Palestine has its own virtual page on Worldometer’s regularly updated coronavirus report, which on Sunday morning showed it to have 3,835 cases, 15 deaths and 463 recorded recoveries. These figures represent a sharp rise in reported new cases, suggesting the real outbreak of the pandemic there has just begun. Which is why the PA is in lockdown.


The service uses the largest known figure of 5,101,620 for the State of Palestine’s population, presumably combining the PA and the Gaza Strip. So far, this imaginary state has performed only 84,621, compared with its neighbor which, with a population of 9,197,590, has performed 1,069,963 tests. That’s 116,331 tests per million, as opposed to 16,587 tests per million over on the imagined side of the border.

The Worldometer website was founded in 2004 by Andrey Alimetov, a Russian immigrant to the United States. In 2011, it was voted one of the best free reference websites by the American Library Association. Frankly, as CNN reported in May, it’s not clear whether Worldometer has any paid staff vetting its data for accuracy, or whether it relies on automation alone. Which would explain the State of Palestine thing – it’s all GIGO.

The site had one job posting in October, looking for a volunteer web developer. So now you know.

Meanwhile, the illusory State of Palestine’s Minister of Health, Mai al-Kaileh, confirmed two deaths from the coronavirus in Hebron on Sunday. Hebron has been an epicenter of the disease in Judea. She said that with the death of the two, who had been suffering from chronic diseases, the coronavirus death toll in “Palestine” has risen to 19.

Worldometer should be informed.

Al-Kaileh told official Palestine TV that the Ministry of Health will recommend an extension of the current 5-day lockdown in “Palestine,” as the pandemic situation necessitates such extension. She said that out of the total coronavirus infections in the country, 50 are medical staff who contracted the disease during treatment of patients at hospitals.


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