Kenya + 9 more

East & Horn of Africa COVID-19 Situation Report - #13, 8 July 2020 Update



The number of COVID-19 cases in East & Horn of Africa continues to rise, with the disease now infecting over 27,000 people.

As of July 8, the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the region stands at 27,159. 321 new cases have been reported in the last day with most new cases reported in Kenya (183 daily increase 2.3%), followed by Rwanda (59 daily increase 5.3%), Djibouti (56 daily increase 1.2%) and Somalia (9 daily increase 0.3%). Kenya remains the country with the highest number of confirmed cases in the region at 8,250 (30.4% of total case), followed by Ethiopia 5,846 (21.5%), and Djibouti 4,878 (18.0%).

Migrants, including Internally Displaced Persons (IPDs), and similar vulnerable groups are likely to be disproportionately affected by the impact of COVID-19, compared to regular citizens. The migratory routes undertaken, and displacement settings by nature are more exposed to the conditions for spreading the disease. This is due to the often poorer and makeshift living conditions in which these groups find themselves, overcrowding, an over-representation of pre-existing health conditions, and poor water and sanitation facilities. Migrants and similar groups often do not have access to national public health services and may not feature in government response plans. The economic and financial impact of COVID-19 which has led to widespread border closures and movement restrictions across the region is set to be particularly devastating for these communities, many of whom rely on mobility to find work, income and do business. Even in light of the recently announced planned easing of some mobility restrictions, lockdowns and curfews in the region, migrants and similar groups may not be able to observe some of the strict government measures that might be put in place to go along, such as social distancing, and the wearing of masks.

Thousands of migrants still remain stranded along migratory routes in the region. A large number are in isolation and quarantine facilities across the region, many in need of testing, access to medical care, non-food items and having other essential basic needs met.

Migrants are also disproportionately at risk of experiencing stigma, xenophobia, and being blamed for COVID-19. There is evidence that some migrants have faced threats. The needs of these groups include access to medical care, testing for COVID-19, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), food, water, hygiene, sanitation kits and facilities, and psycho-social support and counselling.

IOM is supporting governments throughout the region respond to COVID-19 in the areas of risk communication, disease surveillance, infection prevention and control, case management, at ‘Points of Entry’ (PoEs), procurement and logistics, among other areas.

IOM is advocating for migrants, including IDPs and similar groups to be included in government response to fight COVID-19. IOM has launched a regional appeal for East & Horn of Africa for $71.6M in April 2020, to meet the many needs of these communities. So far 57% of the required funds have been received.

A link to the appeal can be found here;