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IOM Regional Office for East and Horn of Africa Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) COVID-19 Regional Overview on Mobility Restrictions as of 14 May 2020

The current outbreak of COVID-19 has affected global mobility in the form of various travel disruptions and restrictions.
To better understand how COVID-19 affects global mobility, IOM has developed a global mobility database to map and gather data on the locations, status and different restrictions at Ports of Entry (PoEs), globally (see In the East and Horn of Africa (EHoA) region, IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) teams in nine of the ten countries covered by IOM Nairobi Regional Office1 are actively collecting information on various PoEs, internal transit locations, as well as other areas of interest in an effort to better understand the extent of these restrictions, as well as the impact on different types of population groups.
Data is collected about the following locations:

  • Airports (currently or recently functioning airport with a designated International Air Transport Association -IATA- code)
  • Blue Border Crossing Points (international border crossing point on sea, river or lake)
  • Land Border Crossing Points (international border crossing point on land)
  • Internal Transit Points (internal transit point inside a given country, territory or area)
  • Areas of interest (region, town, city or sub-administrative unit in a given country, territory or area with specific restrictions)
  • Sites with a population of interest particularly affected by or at risk of COVID-19 (stranded, repatriated and returning migrants, IDPs, nationals, asylum-seekers and regular travellers)


Epidemiological Situation

  • All 10 nations in the region have increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases, with the number of positive cases almost reaching 5,000 and rising, as of 14 May 2020. Majority of cases are through community transmission. The growing trend of community transmission in Djibouti and Somalia, with 1,268 and 1,219 cases, respectively, and the steady increase in the number of cases in South Sudan, with 203 cases, is a cause for concern due to the high presence of migrants and vulnerable people. The increased cumulative number of cases among cross-border truck and cargo drivers across ports of entry in the region is also of great concern. The number of positive cases keeps increasing at an alarming rate with many of them returned to their countries of origin. While the mode of transmission is unknown, the need to protect from further spread among them is a priority to contain the epidemic. Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan and the United Republic of Tanzania have recorded increased daily number of positive cases among truck drivers. This highlights the need to reinforce preventive measures at border communities and at the truck drivers stop-over designated points, where the risk of exposure can be high. Governments in the region are implementing different COVID-19 response strategies aimed at truck drivers, who are designated as essential workers at border points. These strategies include massive testing campaigns, in addition to relaying the trucking system, sanitizing the vehicles, and risk communication. IOM and the World Health Organization (WHO) and the East African Community (EAC) are currently finalizing a regional guidance in this respect.
  • As of 14 May 2020, the number of COVID-19 cases in the EHoA region stands at 4,691, including 108 new cases, with most new cases reported in Somalia (49, daily increase 4.2%), followed by Kenya (22, daily increase 3.1%), Uganda (13, daily increase 10.3%), Djibouti (12, daily increase 1%) and South Sudan (9, daily increase 4.6%);
  • The EHoA region contributes 6.3% of the total Africa COVID-19 cases;
  • Djibouti continues to have the highest number of confirmed cases in the region at 1,268 (27.4% of total cases), followed by Somalia 1,219 (26%) and Kenya 737 (16%);
  • As of 14 May 2020, the number of deaths in the region stands at 122, with an average case fatality rate (CFR) of 2.6%.
    This remains much below the global average of 7%. Kenya rises from 36 to 40 deaths with a CFR of 5.4%;
  • As of 14 May 2020, a total of 1,850 people (39.4% of cases in the region) have recovered from COVID-19 (31 more people in 24 hours);
  • In Uganda, all 13 new cases were truck drivers who arrived from the United Republic of Tanzania, South Sudan and Kenya via Mutukula, Elegu and Malaba PoEs. IOM, WHO and EAC are developing the regional guidance and technical Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for COVID-19 managment along transport corridors.


Source: International Organization for Migration