Some 5,031 cases of COVID-19 and 58 fatalities have been confirmed by authorities in Djibouti to date. The positivity rate is significantly lower (2%) this past week. Fatality rate remains significantly lower than neighbouring countries: 1.1%.
New health protocols to accompany the border reopening mechanism were issued by the Ministry of Health.
As of 23 July 2020, the Ministry of Health confirmed 5,031 cases of COVID-19 in Djibouti, with 58 fatalities reported since the beginning of the pandemic. The progress of the epidemiological situation in Djibouti is very encouraging: during the last few weeks a significant drop in the number of positive cases identified every day and to single digit numbers over the last few days has been observed. The positivity rate went from 22% reported in previous situation report, to a 1-2% during the past two weeks. The crude fatality rate also dropped from 8.8% (Week 26) to 0.0% in the past two weeks. While the number of cases in country dropped, several positive cases were reported among travelers coming to Djibouti through the recently resumed flights. High vigilance is required to ensure that all reported cases are quarantined effectively to avoid a new resurgence of community transmission.
On 16 July, the Ministry of Health issued a circular note on the reopening of borders, specifying the health protocolsfor passengers. Travelers coming to Djibouti by air/sea/land must be screened for COVID-19 upon arrival at ports of entry; carry the results of a COVID-19 screening test at the time of departure if required by the authorities of their country of destination; be equipped with protective masks at the time of departure or arrival at the points of entry; respect the physical distance of one meter, if possible, at all stages of the journey; carry a hydro-alcoholic gel throughout the trip. At Djibouti’s airports, railway stations and land borders, waiting, isolation zones and circulation areas are being set up for passengers, so to ensure that they are kept at a safe distance from one another and that their temperature is taken at an appropriate level.
On 14 July, the President of Djibouti participated in an IGAD summit. He highlighted the challenge of Covid-19 for the IGAD member countries and shared the Djiboutian experience in regulating the multifaceted consequences of this pandemic. "The adoption, very early on, of an aggressive and ambitious strategy of rapid tests and treatments has, to date, enabled us to avoid the highly tragic consequences of this disease for which nothing has prepared us for the threats, be they human, social or economic," he said. He then showcased some measures put in place by Djibouti to minimize the economic and financial impact of COVID-19. He stressed that the confinement adopted has had "socio-economic consequences that have jeopardized the livelihoods of thousands of people, especially in the informal sector". "Faced with this difficult situation, the government has, among other things, put in place a compensatory indemnity for employees" he announced, reiterating his attachment to the principle of establishing an IGAD solidarity fund for the fight against the Coronavirus. Under the aegis of IGAD’s Executive Secretariat, regular meetings of the Ministers of Finance and Health of member states dedicated to achieving greater collaboration and solidarity in the fight against Covid-19 are taking place.
On 12 July, the Minister of Economy and Finance, chaired a consultation meeting with partners on the roadmap for recovery, and for the elaboration of the National Development Plan, with the participation of development partners and civil society. This roadmap was structured on the basis of a macro-economic assessment and a decentralized approach to health, social protection and budgetary support, to “leave no one behind”.
On 10 July, the President of the Republic of Djibouti and the Minister of Labour in charge of administrative reform, participated to ILO's virtual global summit on COVID-19 and the world of work - the largest ever online gathering of workers, employers and governments to discuss how to build back better in the post-pandemic recovery. This meeting allowed participants to exchange innovative ideas and discuss lessons learned from the COVID-19 in order to develop concrete plans to work together to implement a recovery that is job-rich, inclusive, equitable and sustainable. At this virtual meeting, the Minister of Labor delivered a statement on behalf of the African Group for the East African region through which he highlighted the urgent and immediate challenges in the world of work and the African responses that have proven effective, as well as the process of building back better.
On 18 July, the UN Secretary General delivered the 2020 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture. Mr.
Guterres began by noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted growing inequalities, and exposed the myth that everyone is in the same boat, because “while we are all floating on the same sea, it’s clear that some are in superyachts, while others are clinging to the drifting debris.” The world, he concluded, is at breaking point, and it is time for leaders to decide which path to follow. The choice presented by Mr. Guterres, is between “chaos, division and inequality”, or righting the wrongs of the past and moving forward together, for the good of all. (Click here to read the statement)