The current outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in a global pandemic, heightening the risk to vulnerable populations, internally displaced people and people on the move. On 22 March 2020, the Government of Mozambique officially declared the first positive COVID-19 case. In late March, South Africa declared a lockdown due to the spread of COVID-19, which prompted over 14,000 Mozambican migrants to return home from South Africa, through the Ressano Garcia border, within a span of a few days2 . This further heightened the risks and concerns over the spread of the virus in Mozambique, in particular for vulnerable populations such as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) in collaboration with the Government of Mozambique’s National Disaster Management Agency (INGC) conducted an assessment in the resettlement sites from 25 August to 3 September 2020, with the sole purpose to inform government and humanitarian partners on preparedness levels and precautionary measures currently available in resettlement sites hosting populations displaced by Cyclone Idai. The information gathered is intended to help partners plan interventions. This information will further allow partners to identify recommended health and site preparation measures to prevent and contain an outbreak in the resettlement sites in the central region.
In the past month, among the 73 resettlement sites assessed, three sites (Bandua 2019, Mdhala and Muconja all in Sofala province) reported the arrival of 19 Mozambican migrant workers returning from South Africa. All sites reported a noticeable change in people’s behaviours and habits to better prevent COVID-19.