The COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictive measures in place to combat it have continued to exacerbate the already vulnerable situation of refugees and migrants from Venezuela. In Brazil, entry restrictions were extended the until end of August and the restrictions on the entrance of Venezuelans remain, meaning that they will be at risk of deportation or repatriation and will not have access to documentation issued to regularly entered Venezuelans. In Colombia the national mandatory preventive isolation has been extended twice during the month. There is an increase of COVID-19 cases throughout Ecuador, where several cantons have returned to high alert status, and Quito is dealing with shortages of beds in the hospitals’ intensive care units. In Peru, increased cases of human trafficking for sexual exploitation were identified in several cities in the country, increasing concerns over protection risks. In the Dominican Republic, heightened numbers of infections prompted a 45-day curfew and closure of land borders with Haiti. While Uruguay and Paraguay have managed to keep contagion at bay, Argentina and Bolivia continued to see an increase in COVID-19 cases, with public health facilities close to exceeding their capacities.
The situation of thousands of people living in remote areas along the Amazon river, between Colombia, Brazil and Peru, rises serious concerns about their access to prevention and health services, affecting especially Venezuelan indigenous peoples in those areas. Increasingly high COVID-19 mortality rates, chronic child malnutrition, high maternal mortality rates, malaria, dengue and a lack of support pose severe risks to this population. With most borders being closed, facilities to lodge asylum applications or other migration procedures are elusive (some services are being processed through on-line platforms). Prolonged confinement measures in some countries are causing an increase in gender-based violence (GBV) and abuse.