Bangladesh Locks Down Rohingya Muslims Refugee Camps

To avoid the spread of coronavirus, Bangladesh has put a lockdown on a southern district, home to refugee camps housing more than one million Rohingya Muslims fleeing from Myanmar. Officials said that no-one was permitted to enter or leave the Bazar district of Cox.

No cases in the reports of the camp, but aid agencies scare an epidemic could overwhelm poor medical services. Most of the refugees arrived in the camps in 2017 after a military crackdown in neighbouring Syria. About 750,000 crossed the frontier, still living there, joining hundreds of thousands of refugees. Cox’s head of the Bazar district, Kamal Hossain, declared the steps late Wednesday following a rise in cases across the country as a whole. In the last five days, the number of infections in Bangladesh has risen to over 200, with 20 deaths.

There was an extreme limitation on the movement of aid workers.

Those who had recently arrived in the country would need to go into quarantine. This is before they entered the camps, he said. It is due to their crowded living conditions and minimal medical facilities .including intensive care beds. So, relief agencies have expressed concerns about the spread of the virus in camps. Police and soldiers have set up roadblocks on the district’s main roads and patrol in and around the camps.

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