IOM, USAID Deliver 15,000 COVID-19 Tests to Honduras

(From left) Likza Salazar, IOM National Project Coordinator in Honduras; Alba Consuelo Flores, Minister of Health; and Lisandro Rosales, Secretary for Foreign Relations and International Cooperation. Photo: IOM/Ismael Cruceta

Mario Fortín Fidence, Ambassador of Honduras to Guatemala, upon arrival of the IOM staff at La Aurora Airport in Guatemala City. Photo: IOM/Ismael Cruceta 

Personnel from the Ministry of Health receive the kits. Photo: IO /Ismael Cruceta

IOM official delivers the kits upon arrival in Tegucigalpa. The kits will allow for an increased number of tests carried out on the population and returned migrants. Photo: IOM/Ismael Cruceta

Tegucigalpa – Since 1 March, Honduras has received returning migrants from the United States at a rate of 100 men and women per day. Thus far none have tested positive for COVID-19, yet the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has been helping Honduran authorities to prepare for any sign of the contagion appearing. 

IOM, working with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has concentrated on the logistics related to the purchase and transportation of extraction and re-agent kits in Guatemala, which will allow for 15,000 tests for COVID-19 to be performed once those kits are deployed in Honduras as per the requirements of that country’s Ministry of Health.   

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Staff from IOM Honduras travelled to Guatemala City to escort this material, which will strengthen the capacity of the National Virology Laboratory. The donated items will permit an increase in the number of tests carried out on the population, as well as returned migrants, and position Honduras for better virus prevention. 

To that end, the Government of Honduras has established locations in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula to house returned migrants from the United States and Mexico as they pass a 14-day period in quarantine.  

According to data from the Consular and Immigration Observatory, between 1 March and 26 April (the two months during which coronavirus has been present in the Honduras), 5,822 persons were returned from the United States and Mexico to the Central American country.  

"Thanks to the donation of these kits we contribute not only to the prevention of COVID-19 in Honduras but also to the protection of the health of returned migrants, who will also benefit from these tests," said Jorge Peraza, Chief of IOM Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. 

Since the start of the health emergency, IOM has donated to Honduras more than 1,550 hygiene kits, 800 bedding sets, 450 towels and equipment for 770 shelters. 

IOM has also supported the reconversion of sports and educational spaces in Temporary Isolation Centers, with replacement of washing areas and upgrades in sanitation systems, floor protection, and room partitions for the separation of groups with different quarantine deadlines.  

IOM has made other donations directly to the Permanent Commission for Contingencies of Honduras (COPECO), the unit leading the country’s emergency response. 

USAID, the US Government agency that has worked for almost 60 years with the government and people of Honduras, funded this IOM intervention.  

For more information please contact Ismael Cruceta at IOM Honduras, Tel: +504 9457-3685, Email: