Context and Introduction
The COVID-19 pandemic reached Africa in February 2020 with the first case detected in Egypt. In West and Central Africa (WCA), Nigeria registered the first confirmed case at the end of February. By March 2020, COVID-19 cases had been declared in every country in the region. As of 30 April 2021, over 600,000 cases of COVID-19 had been reported in West and Central Africa, of which 8,500 COVID-19 related deaths were reported. The case fatality ratio was at 1.4%. The top three countries with the highest number of reported COVID-19 cases were Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon which accounted for 56 per cent of all the cases in the region. Liberia (4.1%), Mali (3.8%) and Niger (3.7%) had the highest case fatality rates.
Similarly to countries across the globe, governments in West and Central Africa adopted measures to limit the spread of the virus, including the closure of maritime, air and land borders; restrictions on internal mobility such as curfews, lockdowns and quarantining of cities or regions; states of emergencies; mandatory isolation of travellers; closures of schools, non-essential businesses and public spaces; and restrictions on social, educational, and economic activities.
To better understand and capture how COVID-19 has been affecting global mobility, IOM developed a global database (the Mobility Restrictions Mapping, MRM) which maps, tracks, and analyses the changes and trends in operational status of and mobility restrictions at Points of Entry (PoEs) including airports, blue border crossing points (such as sea ports and river crossings) and land border crossing points and other key transit points and locations of internal mobility. Outside of operational status for key locations of internal mobility, MRM collects data on COVID measures impacting mobility, health measures issued at Points of Entry and some internal mobility points, and populations that are impacted by COVID-19 mobility restrictions (which are the populations of interest).
Such information is meant to serve IOM member states, IOM, and its UN partner agencies in responding adequately, and in a targeted manner, to the current and evolving crisis period. In West and Central Africa, IOM missions were involved in providing information on the situation at the PoEs in their respective countries.
This report presents the findings from data collected on the operational status of PoEs, health measures as well as other additional information conducted between 30 April 2020 and 31 March 2021 (49 weeks or Rounds), at 469 official points of entry across the region, including 371 land border crossings points , 46 airports and 52 blue border crossing points (maritime borders)