NEW YORK, United States of America, June 29, 2020/ — Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
Up to 5087 COVID-19 cases were reported in Gabon as of June 24, showing a surge of new infections in all the Country’s provinces. Even though a slight decrease from 18% to 16% in the infection rate was documented during the reporting period, an uptick of active clusters nationwide infers that the pandemic is taking hold with no strong evidence of it substantially and rapidly abating. Over 30,000 tests were undertaken with an insufficient and uneven capacity as the bulk of the testing infrastructure is based in only three provinces. The death toll rose to 40 with a fatality rate as low as 1% whilst the recovery rate kept improving with 42%. For the disaggregated data men account for 59%, women 41% and children under 18 around 6.5%.
Faced with a generalization of the pandemic across the entire country, the Government is dealing with a complex evolving situation in managing already scarce and overstretched resources. In its endeavor to mobilize additional resources in order to cope with the increasing needs, an agreement was signed with the Gabonese Patronal Confederation in a Public-Private Partnership scheme to mutualize efforts and strengthen the national response. Gabon is also spearheading regional efforts within the ECCAS leading to the elaboration and validation of the COVID-19 Response Strategy.
The measles outbreak is adding to the challenges as several provinces and health districts are reporting cases. To stem the epidemic, joint Governmental, UNICEF, WHO efforts are being deployed aiming at enhancing the epidemiological monitoring and the testing capacity and organizing a National Vaccination Campaign.
On the socio-economic front, the Government is in the process of amending the 2020 finance law to deal with the pandemic impact and the looming economic downturn and its consequences on social spending. This supplementary budget Act, underpinned by the economic recovery and the social protection of the most vulnerable, is currently in the process of ratification by the Parliament.
UNICEF continues to dedicate more resources in an integrated and holistic-driven response to scale-up interventions, leverage and expand the partnership towards protecting and improving children’s situation.