Haiti + 1 more

Haiti – COVID-19: Flash Update No 5 As of 29 April 2020 (17:00 Haiti time)

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Situation Report
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This report is produced by OCHA Haiti in collaboration with WHO, other UN agencies and humanitarian partners.

Key Messages

• As of 27 April, 74 COVID-19 cases and six deaths have been confirmed in Haiti.

• The Government of Haiti announced the extension of the state of health emergency until 20 May 2020.

• Subcontracting factories have reopened on 20 April and have adopted measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

• Health facilities to treat COVID-19 are being identified and prepared across the country.

• Food insecurity is expected to further increase due to the COVID-19 context.

Updates from the Government

• As of 27 April, the Ministry of Health (MSPP) has reported 769 suspected cases, of which 74 have been confirmed.
To date, six deaths and seven cured patients have been reported.

• On 19 April 2020, the Government of Haiti announced at a press conference at the Permanent Information Centre on Coronavirus (CIPC) the extension of the state of health emergency that was announced on 19 March for an additional month, until 20 May 2020.

• In order to guarantee jobs provided by subcontracting companies, the Government authorized these factories to gradually resume their activities from 20 April 2020, while respecting the measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
These measures include, among others, the operation of the factories on a rotating basis with only 30% of their workforce, measuring the temperature of the workers upon entry to the factory, respecting a distance of at least one meter between people, the obligation to wear masks and the installation of handwashing points.

• As part of the response to COVID-19, the Government announced on 15 April, at a press conference at the CIPC, the publication of a protocol for the care of COVID-19 deceased persons.

• On 18 April, the Government published a communication and social mobilisation strategy for COVID-19, which was jointly developed by the Communication Cell under the Prime Minister's Office, the MSPP, and international and civil society partners.

• The Multisectoral Commission for the Management of the COVID-19 Pandemic that oversees the coordination of the COVID-19 health response has held working meetings to elaborate a response plan. Several working groups were created to address six thematic areas: Patient care; communications; logistics and distributions; surveillance; laboratories and research; transparency; information technology.

• On 24 April 2020, the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training launched the digital platform of educational and learning resources called PR@TIC. This pedagogical tool will facilitate learning activities outside the classroom from pre-school to professional level.

Key Issues

• While the logistics and commercial sector seems able to continue operating in the country, procurement of key protective and medical items remains a challenge. The UN system is supporting the newly established Multisectoral Commission for the Management of the COVID-19 Pandemic through a dedicated working group to elaborate a supply and logistics plan, looking at the upstream and in-country pipeline of critical response items such as oxygen, personal protective equipment (PPE) and medicines.

• Concerns were raised regarding the situation of vulnerable groups in the context of COVID-19, including persons with disabilities. On 15 April, a member of the Association "Nou tout se moun" alerted the press on the situation of people with reduced mobility living in a camp in Delmas 2 in Port-au-Prince, one of the three sites housing persons with disabilities after the earthquake of 12 January 2010. Under faulty hangars, these people live in an environment full of waste, with a lack of drinking water and exposure to insecurity.

• IOM reported an estimated 17,430 border crossings between Haiti and the Dominican Republic (where 5,044 COVID19 cases had been confirmed as of 22 April), between 12 and 19 April, including deportations, voluntary returns and daily commute to purchase/sell goods. An increase of voluntary returns of Haitians has been observed (an estimated 3,198 returnees during that week). Necessary screening and hygiene measures for returnees remain a priority.
Concurrently, the use of mobility data combined with epidemiological surveillance for research, identification of possible hot spots needs to be strengthened. Lastly, awareness raising campaigns should continue at points of entry to ensure that migrants and returnees receive appropriate information on key behaviors and means to reduce the disease’s propagation (hand hygiene, social distancing, etc.). A list of potential hospital and health centers fit to treat those affected by the disease should be elaborated.

• COVID-19 is expected to lead to a further increase in food insecurity across the country due to a rise in food and agricultural inputs prices and a decrease in the purchasing power of most rural households. While the extent of this impact is currently being estimated, concerns were raised, as there is already a significant response gap in this sector. According to the latest updates shared by partners, current funding will make it possible to cover in 2020 approximately 40% of the target for food assistance, initially set at 1.2 million people, and less than 15% of the target for support to livelihoods and agriculture, set at 1.41 million people. If additional funding is not mobilized quickly, the impact of COVID-19 in Haiti could significantly increase this response gap.

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