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5 Rohingya camps under lockdown in virus flare-up

22 May 2021 bdnews24.com


The government has locked down five Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar following the spread of coronavirus infections.
The restrictions imposed on the camps in Ukhiya and Teknaf on Friday will continue until further notice, said Additional Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Shamsud Douza Nayan.
"Residents can't travel outside their camps as long as the lockdown is on. They are barred from going out, except for emergency food and medical help."
Both local and foreign aid agencies have been ordered to limit their programme in those camps to "emergency work", Shamsud Douza said.
The camps under lockdown are Camp No. 2W, 3, 4 and 25 in Ukhiya and Camp No. 24 in Teknaf. Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar have been hit hard with the second wave of infections with an escalating rate, Shamsud Douza said.
"We put restrictions on the camps in consultation with the experts."
The authorities have briefed the camp administration and local and foreign aid agencies on the lockdown rules.
As many as 1.1 million Rohingya live in 34 overcrowded camps in Cox's Bazar and Ukhiya.  The international community worried about the risks of the pathogen.
The first Rohingya was diagnosed with COVID-19, 37 days after Bangladesh reported its first coronavirus cases in March 2020.
As of now, 13 virus deaths were reported in the Rohingya camps with a caseload of 863, said Dr Toha Bhuiyan, coordinator of the health department in the RRR commissioner's office.
A total of 41,477 sample tests were done in the camps and 639 Rohingya among the infected have recovered. At least 211 people are isolated as of now.
Cox's Bazar and its Rohingya refugee camps have been experiencing a rise in the infection rate for the past 4 months, Dr Toha said.
"Despite the second wave of coronavirus, social mingling and crowds were quite heavy in the Rohingya camps for the past few months, especially during Ramadan. Many people took part in the tarawih prayers in mosques, while people visited each other in the overcrowded camps in Eid holidays. It seems that all these factors pushed the infection rate up."

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