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Republic of Djibouti: COVID-19 Situation Report #10, 3 - 22 June 2020

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UNCT Djibouti
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• Some 4,599 cases of COVID-19 and 45 fatalities have been confirmed by authorities in Djibouti to date.

• Significant decrease of the number of COVID-19 positive cases in the last two weeks, with higher number of severe and critical cases.

• Fatality rate significantly lower than neighbouring countries: 1.2%.

• Ease of the lockdown continues with the opening on 15 June of restaurants and cafés.


• As of 22 June, the Ministry of Health confirmed 4,599 cases of COVID-19 in Djibouti, with 48 fatalities reported since the beginning of the pandemic bringing the case fatality rate to 1%, which is significantly lower than the fatality rate in most neighboring countries.

• The epidemiological curve in Djibouti has shown a first wave that lasted 2 months (17 March – 17 May) with a peak around end of April. This wave was characterized by a very low number of symptomatic cases (98% asymptomatic or pauci-symptomatic) and a very low Case Fatality Rate (CFR - 0.2%). A second wave started in mid-May and had a different epidemiologic profile, with 3,144 cases reported between 17 May and 17 April and a peak on 27 May, with 229 cases confirmed. During the last month, the proportions of severe and critical cases have increased (up to 10% severe cases), and the CFR is significantly higher (1.2%). While more retroactive studies need to be performed to fully understand the underlying reasons for this change in the epidemiologic profile, it is noteworthy that the increase in the number of confirmed cases came after the health authorities performed a mass testing exercise in some neighborhoods of Djibouti town and in some workplaces (ministries and public administrations, Djibouti Telecom, Electricity of Djibouti…). The increase in the symptomatic, severe and critical cases could also be explained by the less aggressive contact tracing, which led to a later cases notification, which in turn resulted in more time for affected people to develop symptoms and complications. To note that there are currently no active COVID-19 cases among the refugee population, after the last active case was tested negative and released on 7 June.

• Restaurants and cafés are allowed to resume their activity since 15 June on condition that hand washing devices are installed, and physical distance is organized.

• On June 4th the Ministry of Energy in charge of Natural Resources announced that more than 94% of domestic electricity subscriptions will benefit from a state support plan for bills issued during containment. This measure will reduce the bills of some 54,046 subscribers(about 400,000 people) by 30,000FDJ; and will help relieve the economic burden of most vulnerable households.

• On 11 June, the Permanent Representative of Djibouti to the United Nations organized an online discussion on the role of Djibouti as a trade and humanitarian logistics base amid the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, with the participation of the Port Authorities chairperson, of the former ECA Executive Secretary, of the UNRC, the WHO Representative, and the WFP Head of Supply Chain. The panel discussion shed the light on the critical role played by the country as a trade and humanitarian logistics base of the region.

• On 9 June, for his latest policy brief on the pandemic, the United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) focused on the need to safeguard everyone’s access to food and adequate nutrition: for now, and in the future. “Unless immediate action is taken, it is increasingly clear that there is an impending global food emergency that could have long term impacts on hundreds of millions of children and adults”, he said during the launch of the policy brief on food security. (See brief here)

• On 11 June, at the meeting of the Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance, the UNSG called on the international community to build a fairer, greener and more resilient global economy that leaves no one behind. "With the world's fragilities and inequalities so painfully exposed, it is clear that we cannot simply rebuild the world as it was," he said, while talking about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global community and the vision of rebuilding the postpandemic world.