Concern is growing about a possible outbreak of the new coronavirus in the world’s largest refugee camp in Bangladesh. Officials warn that containing the disease among the more than 1 million Rohingya refugees will be extremely difficult.
About 40,000 people per square kilometer live in temporary shelters made mostly of sticks and plastic. The density in the camp is more than 40 times the average density of Bangladesh.
Each shelter is barely 10 square meters and many are overcrowded with as many as 12 people in a single home.
There have been no reported cases of infection in the camps yet, but officials remain concerned. The United Nations is not doing any testing for the virus but sends suspected cases to a government hospital.
Social distancing almost impossible
“We are doing our best to protect them, but if the virus breaks out it will be a tough job for all of us,” said Mohammad Shamsuddoza, an official with Bangladesh’s Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commission, by phone from Cox’s Bazar. Cox’s Bazar is a coastal city near the camps.
Shamsuddoza said the 34 camps face major difficulties. But, there have been preparations to provide better health care services there.
“It’s overcrowded, every family has multiple members,” he said. “So this is, practically, very difficult to keep them separated.”
Rachel Wolff of the aid group World Vision in Cox’s Bazar said “social distancing is almost impossible for families.”
Sep 14, 2020Staff Reporter Abul kalam of Camp 16 told to our correspondence that Rohingya Community Members actually want to go back to Myanmar, not to a island which is in the middle of bay of Bengal. It is really very dangerous during monsoon season. Recently, some leaders from different camps went to see the location whether […]
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