Kenya + 9 more

East & Horn of Africa COVID-19 Situation Report - #14, 15 July 2020 Update



The number of COVID-19 cases in East & Horn of Africa continues to rise, with the disease now infecting over 32,000 people. Migrants, including Internally Displaced Persons (IPDs), and similar vulnerable groups are more likely to be disproportionately affected by the impact of COVID-19, compared to regular citizens. The migration routes taken by migrants and other groups on the move, and displacement settings by nature are more exposed to conditions that can lead to the disease. A lack of access to clean and sanitary conditions and environments, the poorer and makeshift living circumstances in which these groups find themselves, overcrowding, and an overrepresentation of pre-existing health issues. Migrants and similar groups often do not have access to national public health services, and may not feature in government response plans. Widespread air, land and sea border closures, movement restrictions such as lockdown and curfews across the region are set to be particularly economically and financially devastating for these communities, many of whom rely on mobility to find work, income and do business. Migrants and similar groups may not be able to observe some of the strict government measures that may go along with planned easing of mobility restrictions, such social distancing, and the wearing of masks.

Thousands of migrants are 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 physical threats to their safety. 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.

As of July 15, the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the region stands at 32,471. 583 new cases have been reported in the last day with most new cases reported in Kenya (497 daily increase 4.8%), followed by Rwanda (38 daily increase 2.8%), Burundi (34 daily increase 12.6%) and South Sudan (5 daily increase 0.2%). Kenya remains the country with the highest number of confirmed cases in the region at 10,791 (33.2% of total case), followed by Ethiopia 7,969 (24.5%), and Djibouti 4,979 (15.3%).

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 60% of the required funds have been received.