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reliefweb - 10 days ago

Colombia: Americas COVID-19 - Response Update #8, 15 May 2020

Countries: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Situational Highlights Some countries have announced measures to relax confinement or curfews to be implemented progressively since May in certain regions or locations of Argentina, Colombia or Peru. Lockdowns continue or are even tightened in others, such as the Para State, Brazil, El Salvador or Trinidad and Tobago as COVID-19 cases rise across Latin America. Despite border restrictions, crossborder and internal displacements are recorded in the region of people aiming to return to their countries of origin after evictions or being laid off, but also in search of safety. In this context of uncertainty, some have been detained after violating confinement measures. Further displacement within countries and across borders might be expected due to social unrest but also linked to persistent violence. Concerns persist over COVID-19 cases among people of concern in host countries and on the move, including potential outbreaks in collective sites or migratory detention centers. As OHCHR alerted this week, chronic overcrowding and inadequate access to health services in detention facilities in the Americas may contribute to a rapid spread. To reduce a potential outbreak, Mexico has released most of the people in immigration centers. Access to asylum procedures, though still possible in person (Canada, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala) by remote means (Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay) is in many cases on hold during the emergency (Panama). Access to territory has become increasingly hard as a result of the closure of borders, and there is concern in Costa Rica about possible pushbacks. The response to cases of internal displacement are being coordinated with state authorities and ombudsman s offices (El Salvador, Honduras). On 11 May, UNHCR issued a set of recommendations urging Governments worldwide to pay urgent attention to the plight of millions of stateless people and to ensure their coverage in the COVID-19 response.

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