Coronavirus: East & Horn of Africa COVID-19 Situation Report

Coronavirus: East & Horn of Africa COVID-19 Situation Report

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GENEVA, Switzerland, September 4, 2020/ — EHoA SITUATION OVERVIEW

The number of people infected with COVID-19 in East and Horn of Africa is still increasing with the disease now infecting over 107,000 people. Migrants, including Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are more likely to be disproportionately affected by the impact of COVID-19, compared to non-migrants. Migratory routes and displacement settings by nature, are more exposed to conditions in which COVID-19 spreads. A lack of access to clean and sanitary conditions and environments, the poorer and makeshift overcrowded living circumstances in which these groups often find themselves, and an over-representation of pre-existing health issues, exacerbates the risk of exposure to the disease. Migrants are disproportionately at risk of experiencing stigma, xenophobia, and being blamed for COVID-19 and often do not have access to national public health services, may not feature in government response plans, and may not have access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as facemasks. Since many of these groups rely on mobility to find work, do business, border closures and movement restrictions are set to be particularly devastating for migrants. Meanwhile, thousands of migrants from the East and Horn of Africa remain stranded.

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As of September 2, the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the region stands at 107,379. 1,441 new cases have been reported in the last day with most new cases reported in Ethiopia (1,173 daily increase 2.3%), followed by Kenya (114 daily increase 0.3%), Rwanda (79 daily increase 2.0%) and Uganda (75 daily increase 2.5%).
Ethiopia remains the country with the highest number of confirmed cases in the region at 53,304 (49.6% of total case), followed by Kenya 34,315 (32.0%), followed by Djibouti 5,387 (5.0%).

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 to be included in government responses to fight COVID-19. IOM launched a regional appeal for East and Horn of Africa for $71.6M in April 2020, to meet the many needs of these communities. So far 72% of the required funds have been received. IOM has also launched an appeal for the Regional Migrant Response Plan for Horn of Africa and Yemen for migrants along the ‘Eastern Route’– many of whom have been stranded trying to reach Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

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