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Impact of COVID-19 Movement Restrictions on Migrants along the Eastern Corridor, Report 6 - as of 31 August 2020

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Situation Report
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BACKGROUND

The COVID-19 outbreak has restricted global mobility, whilst heightening the risk of exploitation of vulnerable populations. This report provides a snapshot of the COVID-19 epidemiological situation and mobility restrictions, and of the current migration trends along the Eastern Corridor migration route, in addition to an analysis of the impact that movement restrictions have had in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Yemen. Moreover, it provides information on the main protection concerns for migrants and assistance provided, and COVID-19 risk mitigation measures. This report utilizes data collected through IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Flow Monitoring Points (FMPs), Migrant Response Centres (MRCs),1 Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) data, as well as anecdotal information provided by IOM team members working in the region.

COVID-19 EPIDEMIOLOGICAL SITUATION

As of 31 August 2020, the number of COVID-19 cases along the Eastern Corridor stood at 62,790 with a drastic increase in new cases reported in Ethiopia (+34,601), followed by Djibouti (+261), Yemen (+230) and Somalia (+98). Ethiopia continued recording the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at 52,131 (83% of total cases). Following Ethiopia is Djibouti with 5,387 confirmed cases (9% of total cases) and Somalia with 3,310 cases (5% of total cases), while Yemen cases amounted to 1,962 (3% of total cases). As of 31 August 2020, the number of COVID-19 related deaths along the Eastern Corridor stood at 1,533, majority of which were recorded in Ethiopia (809). Yemen holds the highest case fatality rate (CFR) at approximately 28.9%, compared to Djibouti (CFR 1.1%), Ethiopia (CFR 1.6%) and Somalia (CFR 2.9%). This is much higher than the global average CFR of 3.3% and is largely attributable to the challenges of accessing a health care system which has been decimated by years of war and the fact that people tend to seek health care when the disease has progressed too far. Additionally, the number of COVID-19 cases in Yemen appears relatively low due to the limited testing capacity, along with lack of access to health facilities and the associated stigma with seeking treatment for COVID-19, which hides the true impact and spread of the virus.

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