COVID-19 Response - Situation Report 12 (25-28 April 2020)
Apr 28 2020
Since it was initially reported on 31 December 2019, the illness known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread rapidly across the globe, leading the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare it a pandemic on 11 March 2020. As of 28 April, close to 2.9 million confirmed cases and nearly 200,000 deaths have been reported globally since the outbreak began. Confirmed cases have been reported in more than 200 countries/ territories/areas, with new cases and countries reporting daily. As several governments and authorities across the world continue to gradually transition towards more flexible and partially restrictive measures, the impact of COVID-19 on global mobility and migration dynamics remains severe with new extensions of border closures and air travel suspensions. As of 27 April, a total of 217 countries, territories and areas have issued 52,970 COVID-19 related mobility restrictions demonstrating a 1 per cent increase from the 52,262 restrictions recorded on 23 April. At the same time, since the last reporting date, there has been a 15 per cent increase in other limitations such as new documents required for entry, as well as a 4 per cent increase in medical restrictions and measures. IOM missions are working with governments and partners to ensure that migrants, whether in regular or irregular situations, as well as returnees and forcibly displaced persons are included in efforts to mitigate and combat the illness’s impact. Recent weeks have seen evidence of concentration of COVID-19 cases among migrant workers in some locations, highlighting existing inequalities between migrants and host communities and further confirming the critical need for specific outreach and inclusion of migrants in all responses. In addition to the immediate health risks of COVID-19, the situation poses significant socio-economic and protection challenges for migrants excluded from or unable to access support mechanisms. There are also increasing reports of stigma and discrimination towards migrants at destination, transit and home locations upon return, due to fears around COVID-19 transmission. Devising adequate responses for migrants, refugees, IDPs, returnees and vulnerable groups remains the top priority for IOM.