From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world stands idly by in the face of the virus spreading. The prediction of highly vulnerable population and the implementation of proper actions are very important steps to break the infection chain of any virus. This will, in turn, reduce the economic and social impact of this virus outbreak. In this study, the COVID-19 vulnerability map for the West Bank, Palestine was developed. Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) was used to develop the COVID-19 vulnerability map. The Geographic Information system (GIS) in combination with multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) was adopted to estimate the COVID-19 vulnerability index (CVI) based on some selected potential criteria including population, population density, elderly population, accommodation and food service activities, school students, chronic diseases, hospital beds, health insurance, and pharmacy. The results of this study show that Nablus, Jerusalem, and Hebron governorates are under very high vulnerability. Tulkarm, Ramallah & Al-Bireh and Jenin governorates are high vulnerable to COVID-19. Additionally, 82 % of the West Bank population are under high to very high COVID-19 vulnerability classes. Moreover, 14% and 4 % are medium and low to very low vulnerable, respectively. The obtained results are of high value to help decision-makers to take proper actions as early as possible mainly in the highly COVID-19 vulnerable governorates to control the risk associated with the potential outbreak of the virus and accordingly to protect social life and to sustain economic conditions.
Keywords: AHP; COVID-19; GIS; MCDA; Vulnerability index; Vulnerability mapping; West Bank.
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