Following the confirmation of the first positive case of COVID-19 in Benin on 16 March 2020, UNICEF Benin has been working closely with the Government and its partners to prevent further proliferation of the COVID-19 virus. Although the number of reported cases is still low, it has started increasing relatively faster in the last few days.
The transmission of the virus is currently local with more than 80% of confirmed cases being locally acquired. On 19 May 2020, the Government announced it was changing its reporting approach of number of COVID-19 cases: in line with WHO COVID-19 case definition, only cases that tested positive through PCR tests will be reported as “confirmed cases”. As a result, number of confirmed cases in Benin now stands at 135 (down from 339 previously reported), in addition to 238 cases positive only by serologic test (rapid test).
The Government of Benin has prepared a COVID-19 response plan for US$320,338,983. The national plan focuses on the improvement of health infrastructures and equipment, communication, provision of healthcare and capacity-building for health professionals, journalists and community members. The Government announced a set of prevention measures which remain in place including the closure of religious and cultural sites, extension of school holidays for pre-school and the first 5 years of primary school, compulsory wearing of face masks, and mandatory tests (rapid and PCR) upon arrival for all travellers arriving at Cotonou International Airport.