All countries have confirmed cases with an upward trajectory of new cases.
Most countries have lifted restrictions but there are concerns about the limited capacity of health care facilities, even in advanced countries like South Africa. Limited testing capacity and the slow turnaround of testing results are severely hampering the test, track, isolate and treat programme by the Africa CDC/WHO.
South Africa (37,500), DRC (3,500), Kenya (2,200), Ethiopia (1,500) and Zambia (1,000) have highest cases while some countries like Namibia and Mauritius with no cases in more than 30 days have reported them in the last week. South Sudan has a rapid rise of cases with health system concerns - Presidential and legislative assembly elections were conducted in Burundi from 20-21 May 2020 amidst political campaigns that went against the prescribed prevention.
Government measures to curb the spread of the virus vary across the countries with limited cross border collaboration.
UNFPA continues to work with other partners and Governments in the region to address bottlenecks to the continuity of essential health services. UNFPA and partners have developed a tracking matrix for monitoring the disruption of services to enable partners to verify and support countries to respond to the disruptions.
Humanitarian crises in the region continue to be aggravated by COVID-19. Close to 4 million refugees and over 9 million IDPs face limited humanitarian access due to restrictions and with issues on social distancing and hygiene measures. South Sudan’s new armed inter communal and political clashes and ongoing violence in Cabo Delgado in Mozambique have led to increased displacements.
Over 45 million food insecure people in Southern Africa, due to social economic impact of the restrictions, with Zimbabwe hit hardest with a combination of economic collapse and food insecurity. Response to the desert locust invasion in the East and Horn of Africa has also been severely curtailed, and a looming food crisis in the region could have significant impact on women and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and potentially lead to a rise in GBV.
The plight of migrants in Southern Africa is an issue with most of them losing out on employment during the lockdowns. The irregular migrant status raises their vulnerability especially among women and girls.