New Delhi: Two positive cases of COVID-19 has been detected in one of the crowded Rohingya refugee camps in southern Bangladesh — home to more than a million refugees that have fled Myanmar. As per humanitarian groups, the infection could lead to devastation in the camps, if not controlled in early stage.
A Rohingya inmate long with another person were detected as COVID-19 positive in the refugee camp, said a senior Bangladeshi official. This is the first confirmed case in such a camp that is considered more populated than most densely crowded cities in the world.
“Today, they have been taken to an isolation centre after they tested positive,” Mahbub Alam Talukder, the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner, informed an international media outlet over a phone call.
The other person who was infected was a native of Bangladesh and a local of that area, stated an UN spokeswoman.
Cases of coronavirus have been on the rise in Bangladesh with 18,863 reported cases in the country and 283 deaths so far.
“There are only an estimated 2,000 ventilators in all of Bangladesh, serving a population of 160 million people. In the Rohingya refugee camps – home to nearly a million people – there are no intensive care beds at this moment”, said Dr Shamim Jahan, Save the Children’s health director in Bangladesh.
“Now that the virus has entered the world’s largest refugee settlement in Cox’s Bazar we are looking at the very real prospect that thousands of people may die from Covid-19. This pandemic could set Bangladesh back by decades.” he added.
As per reports, people in the refugee camp at Cox’s Bazaar are living in 40,000 to 70,000 in numbers in a square kilometre area.
More than 7.3 lakh Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh in late 2017 after Myanmar started a military crackdown on them.