Situation Report

Over 4,800 people have tested positive for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic

From 30 March 2020 (when the first positive case was tested) to 1 June 2021, Burundi has recorded 4,844 positive cases of COVID-19. Since January 2021, the number of cases has significantly increased. Since the beginning of 2021, 4,018 cases (83 per cent of total cases) have been reported (5 months), while 826 cases (17 per cent) were reported from March to December 2020 (9 months). The increased number of positive cases since January 2021 is also related to increased level of testing, with an average weekly rate of 9 tests per 10,000 people in 2021, compared to 2 tests per 10,000 people in 2020.

Additionally, the number of locally transmitted cases in 2021 has increased by over eight times since the end of 2020, with 494 locally transmitted cases recorded at the end of December 2020 and 4,055 cases at the end of May 2021. This confirms the circulation of Covid-19 within the population. Due to this epidemiological evolution recorded since January 2021, the WHO Regional Office for Africa has reclassified Burundi from the category of countries with “community transmission of low incidence” to the category of countries with “community transmission of moderate incidence.”. In January 2021, Burundi has decided to carry out another mass testing campaign at three sites, namely at the Kamenge district hospital, Ruziba district hospital and at the “Bon accueil” center in Bwiza. Other COVID-19 prevention measures include the closure of land and sea borders except for the movement of goods, as well as the mandatory wearing of masks for public transport users. In April, quarantine for travelers entering Burundi was reduced from seven to four days, with mandatory testing upon arrival at the airport and on the third day of quarantine.

Faced with the increased number of Covid-19 cases, Burundi adopted a new six-month national response plan for COVID-19 on 13 April 2021, with a total budget of US$66,597,418, updated on the basis of the results of the intra-action review organized in March 2021 by the Ministry of Public Health (MSPLS), in collaboration with its COVID-19 response partners. Significant budgets are required for logistics response ($16 million), disease prevention and control ($9 million), surveillance ($4.5 million), risk communication and community engagement ($4 million), and laboratory ($3 million) activities. Underfunding remains a key constrain for the Covid-19 public health response.