IOM COVID 19 Response - Situation Report 19 (12 June 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 12 June, close to 7.3 million confirmed cases and over 413,400 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.
While the health impacts of COVID-19 are improving in some parts of the world, the situation globally remains aggravated. This is reflected in the multiple and dissimilar responses that are seen with both stricter mitigation measures in some countries alongside easing and reopening in others. As of 11 June, a total of 220 countries, territories or areas have issued 66,009 travel restrictions, indicating a steady increase of two per cent from the 66,009 restrictions recorded on 4 June. More specifically, there has been an increase of 11 per cent in medical requirements for travel. In parallel to existing travel restrictions, a total of 176 countries, territories or areas have issued 701 exceptions enabling mobility despite blanket travel restrictions. Between 4 and 11 June, 16 countries, territories or areas have issued 22 new exceptions whilst six countries, territories or areas have removed 11 exceptions.
A key consequence of these mobility restrictions worldwide has been the stranding abroad of people formerly on the move. To assist these stranded travellers and migrants, governments and national authorities have increased their capacity to provide consular assistance to their stranded nationals. In other instances, migrants have sought to return through operations facilitated by IOM or spontaneously, through official border points or otherwise. However, in many regions, stigma and discrimination towards migrants at destination, transit and return locations due to fears around COVID-19 transmission have been reported. This can lead to further exclusion from or unwillingness to access health services and risk further exacerbation of the hardships created by the pandemic.
In migrant camps, camp-like settings, reception centres and dormitories, there are increasing reports of confirmed cases and a heightened risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 due to overcrowding, inadequate sanitation, poor nutrition, and limited access to health services. These conditions greatly contribute to the risk of an infectious disease outbreak in locations that currently have no known cases and/or to increasing the risk of transmission if it is already present. To address these and other challenges, IOM missions around the world 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 all aspects of COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts.
- IOM Sitrep