The Bangladesh government has imposed a “complete lockdown” in the Cox’s Bazar district, where over a million Rohingya refugees from neighbouring Myanmar are living in cramped camps. Experts have warned the disease could spread quickly through the alleys of the settlements.
No coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the camps as yet, but one infection has been recorded nearby.
With the official number of cases in Bangladesh doubling to more than 200, including 20 deaths, in the last five days, officials ordered a lockdown of the district from late Wednesday.
The area “will be put under complete lockdown, meaning that no one is allowed to leave or to enter, until the situation improves,” the directive said.
Police and soldiers set up roadblocks on the main roads of the district, home to 3.4 million people including the Rohingya refugees, and were conducting patrols inside and around the camps on Thursday.
Refugee commissioner Mahbub Alam Talukder said movement restrictions on aid workers had also been imposed, cutting manpower by 80 percent.
“Only emergency food supply and medical services can continue work in the camps by maintaining extreme caution,” he told AFP.
Anyone with a recent history of travel abroad would also be prevented from entering the camps until they completed a quarantine, he added.
Bangladesh as a whole at risk
Asif Saleh, executive director of Building Resources Across Communities (Brac), a development NGO based in Dhaka, points out that Covid-19 and any confinement policy aimed at curbing it, will have a devastating effect on the country’s economy.
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 […]
Sep 01, 2020
Aug 21, 2020