This report is produced by OCHA Haiti in collaboration with PAHO / WHO as well as other United Nations agencies and humanitarian partners.
As of May 21, 663 cases of COVID-19 and 22 deaths have been confirmed in Haiti
The first of a series of shipments of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and other equipment arrived in Haiti. However, the lack of PPE, oxygen, dedicated beds, materials for laboratory tests, and adequately trained staff persists.
Five of the 42 designated health facilities have been equipped for case management by COVID-19.
The preparation of COVID-19 case management structures is extremely difficult due to rejection by local communities.
Disinformation and denial of the population, expression of hostilities against with regard to COVID-19 treatment structures and stigma towards affected people remain the main concerns.
Actions by the Government
As of May 21, the Ministry of Health (MSPP) had reported 2,352 suspected cases, of which 663 were confirmed. To date, 22 deaths and 21 cured patients have been reported
The Multisectoral Commission for the Management of the Pandemic COVID-19 which oversees the coordination of the health response finalizes with the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP ) a detailed operational response plan COVID-19 with the support of United Nations agencies
In a press release published on April 30, the Prime Minister announced the compulsory wearing of face masks in all public spaces from May 11. This measure applies in particular to employees at their workplace, drivers and passengers of public transport, people circulating in any public space, as well as in hospitals, shops, banks and in any other private or public institution. The President announced on May 15 that all shipments of equipment and materials for the COVID-19 response valued at US $ 18 million that had been ordered by the government had arrived in Haiti by air . Deliveries include PPE (visors, surgical masks, N95 masks and protective glasses), oxygen, oxygen generators, hospital beds and ventilators. Other equipment should arrive by May 23.
According to local media, on May 5, a first official meeting was held between the Haitian and Dominican authorities, to discuss bilateral cooperation in the context of the health crisis. During the meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries, among the points discussed were the massive repatriation of Haitian nationals to Haiti and the issuance of visas for Haitian students in the Dominican Republic.
While five health facilities have already been prepared to treat COVID-19 patients, the identification of additional facilities in the departments remains a challenge due to rejection by local communities.
A number of incidents related to the Protection has been reported: Since the introduction of the curfew on April 20, the Human Rights Unit of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has observed at least four cases of ill-treatment, the last of which was carried out by the police on April 28. against people who violated the curfew. Expressions of hostilities against the preparation activities of the COVID-19 patient treatment centers have been reported, in Port au Prince (Bernard Mevs Hospital), in Gonaïves (La Providence Hospital), and in Les Nippes in Chalon as well as Jacmel in the former MINUSTAH base. Another COVID-19 incident occurred on May 3 in Terrier Rouge (Northeast Department), where a coffin was left on the street when residents objected to the burial of an individual they thought they had died from COVID-19. A crowd brandishing machetes and stones blocked the entrance to the cemetery with burning tires. The PNH intervened to calm the situation. [IOMreported17271bordercrossingsbetweenHaitiandtheDominicanRepublicin50crossingpoints(4officialand46unofficial)betweenApril26andMay3Ofthese11310peoplewerefromtheDominicanRepublicThisnumberincludesevictions2414voluntaryreturnsanddailytripstobuy/sellgoodsMostofthesecross-bordermovementswererecordedattheofficialcrossingpointsofOuanamintheandBelladère)TheHaitianpresshasreportedthatthemayorsofbordermunicipalitiessuchasLaschaobas(Center)andAnse-à-Pitre(South-East)havereportedtheirlackofcapacitytoprovidehealthassistancetomigrantsarrivingfromtheDominicanRepublicthroughcheckpointsUnofficialbordercrossing
Different scenarios are being studied for resuming school activities as soon as the situation allows. However, the lack of sanitation facilities in schools increases the risk of disease transmission. Since only 45% of schools in Haiti have potable water and only 30% have sanitary blocks. The inability to put in place adequate hygiene measures, in particular hand washing, remains a major challenge for the reopening of schools.
Regarding the expected deterioration in the food security situation due to the impact of the COVID19 pandemic, a first rapid market assessment was carried out by the CNSA (National Food Security Coordination) in collaboration with the WFP. The survey, which was carried out in 11 communes, by telephone calls to sellers and key informants, indicates a reduced availability of products, especially those harvested locally, and an increase in prices of around 5%. The vendors also reported difficulties in the markets, namely the low purchasing power of households, the lack of access to water, sanitation and hygiene and hand washing products, as well as the lack of cash. If the partners in the food security sector were able to provide food aid equivalent to a month's food ration to 331,000 people in the first quarter of 2020 (40% aid in kind, 60% direct cash transfers or in coupons), the food security response will continue to be underfunded for the coming months.