UNICEF is building a 210-bed isolation and treatment center in Cox’s Bazar, home to the world’s biggest refugee camp, after two people there tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Nearly 1 million Rohingya refugees live in the camp to escape violence and persecution in neighboring Myanmar. 

One of the confirmed cases was a Rohingya refugee, while the other was a Bangladeshi citizen who lives in the area surrounding the camps, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said in a statement.

Bangladesh has more than 20,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 298 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Government response: The Bangladeshi government suspended most of the services within the densely populated camps in late March, including educational programs and other advocacy work.

Health officials have now begun to treat both patients while isolating and testing other refugees in the camps, the agency said.

Covid in the camps is “a nightmare”: “The first positive case of Covid-19 in the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh is the realization of a nightmare scenario,” said Daniel P. Sullivan, a senior advocate for human rights with the US-based organization Refugees International.

“In addition, the prevalence of underlying health conditions among refugees and the deteriorating sanitary conditions sure to come with the looming monsoon and flooding season make for a witch’s brew of conditions in which the virus is sure to thrive.”

Source: CNN News


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