Since its first detection on 13th March, the COVID-19 cases have grown considerably in the region, now reaching close to 1,000 cases and 16 deaths as of 15″ April. The spread is still moderately low considering that the total global cases have now reached about 2 million with more than 125,000 deaths.
Despite the various measures in place, projection of current trends indicate that virus is likely to spread further and likely to have significant impact on the economy, and to livelihoods, food security and nutrition of the populations.
WFP estimates that a total of 20 million people are food insecure in the region and this is likely to increase to be-tween 34 to 43 million during the next three months due to COVID-19 and its consequences.
Global situation overview
The novel corona virus (COVID-19), which first emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and spread rapidly to other regions, was declared a public health emergency of international concern on 30th January, and global pandemic by WHO on 11th March. The outbreak has been so rapid that it has now spread to nearly every country in the world totalling almost 2 million cases and causing over 125,000 deaths.
While the situation has now mostly stabilized in China (83,000 cases with 3,300 deaths), the epicentre has now shifted to Europe and North America. The United States has the highest levels of reported cases and deaths (600,000+ cases, 26,000+ deaths), followed by Spain, Italy, France and United Kingdom,all reporting more than 10,000 deaths.
East Africa situation overview
The virus reached East Africa relatively late. However, since the first two cases were reported on 13th March, the number has grown to a total of 952 cases in the one-month period until 15th April.
Djibouti is currently facing the highest burden (with a total of 363 cases), followed by Kenya (216), and Rwanda (134), while South Sudan has the lowest (4), followed by Burundi (5 cases). So far, the total number of deaths reported is 16 (Kenya: 9; Ethiopia: 3; Djibouti: 2; and Somalia: 2).
Djibouti has seen the most rapid growth in the number of cases, while the pace in Rwanda has slowed down after an initial fast increase. Kenya has seen moderate growth.