Haiti – COVID-19: Flash Update No 2 As of 31 March 2020 (18:00 Haiti time)

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This report is produced by OCHA Haiti in collaboration with UN agencies and humanitarian partners. The next report will be issued on or around 6 April 2020.

Key Messages

  • As of 29 March, 15 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the country.
  • New measures have been adopted to limit the spread of the pandemic.
  • The Ministry of Health (MSPP) started implementing the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan with support from the UN and partners.
  • There is an urgent need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and training for MSPP, UN and NGO staff engaged in frontline response.
  • Donors are asked to be flexible in the use of development funds to meet urgent needs.

Updates from the Government

  • As of 29 March, the MSPP has reported 127 suspected cases, of which 15 have been confirmed. To date, no deaths have been reported in the country. Most of the confirmed cases - some 60 percent - are aged 20-44 years.
  • On 27 March, the President clarified that ports, airports and borders are closed for passenger traffic. However, goods and medicines continue to circulate normally. The President has also announced the establishment of a multisectoral committee to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that vulnerable populations will receive economic and food assistance. This assistance will include cash transfers for 1.5 million families and food rations to more over a million families.
  • The Government of Haiti has opened the Port-au-Prince airport to special flights arranged from 26 to 30 March for the Canadian, French and United States embassies to repatriate their citizens and residents.
  • On 25 March, the Prime Minister announced additional response and mitigation measures (following the 19 March declaration of Health Emergency) for the public and private sectors, as well as for the population. Public and private institutions will continue to operate on a 50 per cent staff rotation basis implementing all mandated hygiene measures and instructions. Food production enterprises continue to operate with staff turnover. Other industrial sectors are closed for 15 days. The Prime Minister also announced additional extraordinary measures, such as a month's advance salary payment to public officials. Employees in the textile sector will receive half of their monthly salary, while regular food rations will be provided for children who usually benefit from school feeding programmes. He also appealed to health care providers to increase the availability of staff for the management of patients affected by COVID-19 in each department.
  • The Minister of Justice and Public Security (MJSP) and the Superior Council of the Judicial Power (CSPJ) foresee measures to postpone procedures and legal deadlines in the judicial system. Eligible detainees are planned to be released (visits for the rest will be prohibited) and prolonged preventive detention will be avoided.
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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