Haiti – COVID-19: Flash Update No 1 As of 23 March 2020 (15:00 Haiti time)

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Key Messages

  • As of 23 March, six cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Haiti.

  • Following the confirmation of the first two cases on 19 March, the President declared a state of health emergency throughout the country. Measures to prevent the spread of the virus have since been announced.

  • The Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC) has activated the National Emergency Operations Centre (COUN) and the Departmental Emergency Operation Centres (COUD) of all ten departments.

  • WHO and humanitarian partners are supporting the Haitian Ministry of Health (MSPP) to implement its COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan.

  • Urgent funding is required to extend UNHAS operations beyond April to ensure continuity of humanitarian operations.


  • On 13 March, the MSPP officially launched the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan for Haiti.

  • The Government has announced that as of 17 March, all flights except to and from the United States and Cuba would be suspended for two weeks; the border with the Dominican Republic would be closed to passenger traffic, though goods crossing the border would permitted if the transporting personnel (limited to two people per vehicle) are screened.

  • On 16 March, a Center of Permanent Information on the Coronavirus (CIPC) was launched by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health. The CIPC is responsible for carrying out awareness-raising actions, health recommendations, through the media, or the coordination of the Ministry of Culture and Communication and under the direction of the Prime Minister's Office. The population will be informed about the prevention, protection and evolution of COVID-19 in the event of a possible appearance and spread of the virus on national soil. Two telephone lines (4343-3333 and 116), have been made available to the public for all information related to the Coronavirus.

  • On 19 March, following the confirmation of the first positive cases, the President declared a state of health emergency throughout the country and announced a number of measures to prevent the spread of the virus, including the closure of airports and ports to all passengers, the closure of all schools and factories, the banning of meetings or gatherings of more than 10 people, a nationwide curfew between the hours of 8pm and 5am, and a plea for social distancing guidelines to be respected. These come in addition to a first series of measures announced on 15 March.

  • On 21 March, the President announced additional instructions for the population, instructing people to stay home, limit movements and practice social distancing. He furthermore announced responsive measures such as the distributions of basic necessities in certain neighborhoods, compensation for unemployed employees of industrial parks, and measures taken by the banking sector on credits.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.