Djibouti + 2 more

Republic of Djibouti: COVID-19 Situation Report #11, 23 June - 10 July 2020

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Situation Report
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Originally published

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Highlights
• Some 4,955 cases of COVID-19 and 56 fatalities have been confirmed by authorities in Djibouti to date.
• Increase of the positivity rate during the second wave (up to 22%), and higher proportions of severe and critical cases.
• Fatality rate remains significantly lower than neighbouring countries: 1.1%.
• Borders will be officially open on 17 July.

Situation Overview

As of 10 July 2020, the Ministry of Health confirmed 4,955 cases of COVID-19 in Djibouti, with 56 fatalities reported since the beginning of the pandemic bringing the case fatality rate to 1.1%, which is significantly lower than the fatality rate in most neighboring countries and one of the lowest in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.

There have been two peaks shown in the epidemiological curve of COVID-19 in Djibouti. Each peak was within two different waves of cases. The first peak was around the end of April, while the second peak of the curve was at the end of May and beginning of June. The first wave of the epi curve was characterized by a very low number of symptomatic cases (98% asymptomatic or pauci-symptomatic) and a very low case fatality rate (CFR) between 0.2% and 0.4%. The second wave started in mid-May and had a different epidemiologic profile, with 3,303 cases reported between 17 May and 30 June and a peak on 27 May, with 229 cases confirmed.

During the last month, the positivity rate increased during the second wave (up to 22%), as well as, the proportions of severe and critical cases have increased (up to 10% severe cases), and the CFR is significantly higher (1.1%). While more retroactive studies need to be performed to fully understand the underlying reasons for this change in the epidemiologic profile. The increase in the symptomatic, severe and critical cases could also be explained by the less aggressive contact tracing, which led to a later cases notification, which in turn resulted in more time for affected people to develop symptoms and complications. There are currently no active COVID-19 cases among the refugee population, after the last active case was tested negative and released on the first week of June.

The Republic of Djibouti will reopen its air traffic on 17 July. Civil, military and humanitarian cargo flights were already in service to and from Djibouti. According to the Government spokesperson measures to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 will be taken within the airport, including systematic testing of passengers on arrival. The government will also work with neighboring countries to reopen land borders to allow Djiboutians to travel in the region during the summer.

The Ministry of the Economy and Finance, in charge of the industry, has created a new product within the Djibouti Partial Credit Guarantee Fund (Fonds de Garantie Partielle des Crédits de Djibouti - FGPCD) entitled "Crédit de Trésorerie Amortissable Exceptionnel" (Exceptional Amortizable Cash Credit), which is designed to provide exceptional bank financing for companies whose cash flow has been adversely affected by the Covid-19 health crisis.

The Minister of Communication and the Minister of National Education and Vocational Training co-chaired on 1st July the virtual meeting of the partners of the Global Coalition for Education, organized by UNESCO's Regional Office for East Africa. Discussions at this virtual meeting focused on the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the education sector to provide inclusive learning opportunities for children and youth during this period of disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the call for solidarity launched by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) regarding the crews of ships stranded on the high seas due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Djibouti has carried out the first crew change of merchant sailors. This first operation took place on 27 June and involved 19 seafarers who had been at sea on a merchant ship for over a year. Organized by the Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority (DPFZA), these humanitarian operations are expected to enable some 400,000 sailors stranded in the seas to return to land.

The 2020 UN Sustainable Development Goals Report finds COVID-19 is reversing decades of progress on poverty, healthcare and education. In only a short period of time, the COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed an unprecedented crisis, causing further disruption to SDG progress, with the world’s poorest and most vulnerable affected the most, according to this new report released on 7 July by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. “As Member States recognized at the SDG Summit held last September, global efforts to date have been insufficient to deliver the change we need, jeopardizing the Agenda’s promise to current and future generations,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “Now, due to COVID-19, an unprecedented health, economic and social crisis is threatening lives and livelihoods, making the achievement of Goals even more challenging.” The Secretary-General stressed that COVID-19 was not affecting everyone the same. “Although the novel coronavirus affects every person and community, it does not do so equally. Instead, it has exposed and exacerbated existing inequalities and injustices.”