Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
The first confirmed COVID-19 case was registered in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania on 13 March, 2020. As of 20 September, 7,368 confirmed cases were registered, including 6,951 recoveries and 161 deaths, and a total of 77,970 tests were performed. The Government decided to lift all restrictions which were in place and to reopen the airport for international flights on 11 September, while reminding the population to respect the preventive measures put in place. These decisions continue to be interpreted by a large part of the population as the end of the pandemic in Mauritania, leading to a lack of respect for barrier measures and a very low level of alerts. Dedicated efforts continue to be initiated by the Government and partners with a view to strengthening protection actions, community ICP and RCCE interventions.
The helpline set up to provide information 24/7 a week has treated more than 1,500,000 calls since 18 March 2020 but has stopped operating on 21 September due to lack of funding.
The support provided to the Government by the United Nations and the humanitarian and development partners is coordinated through the Incident Command System (ICS). UNICEF ensures the lead of the “Risk communication and community engagement” (RCCE), including community watch, and “Infection Prevention and Control” (IPC) pillars.
In accordance with the INFORM COVID-19 Risk Index, Mauritania shows high health and humanitarian impacts risks from COVID-19 that could overwhelm current national response capacity, and therefore lead to a need for additional international assistance.