Coronavirus: first death in Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh

Cox's Bazar camp in Bangladesh on March 7, 2019 (illustration photo). REUTERS / Mohammad Ponir Hossain / File Photo

Text by: RFI Follow

The new coronavirus has made the first death in refugee camps in Bangladesh, where nearly a million Rohingyas live in promiscuity and extreme poverty, local health authorities announced on Tuesday.


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The victim is a 71-year-old Rohingya refugee who lived in Kutupalong, the largest refugee camp on the planet. He died on May 31. But we only had confirmation last night that he died from Covid-19,  "said Toha Bhuiyan, a health official in Cox's Bazar district in southeastern Bangladesh, where the Rohingya camps are located.

The refugee died in an isolation center of the NGO Doctors Without Borders and was buried in a camp cemetery the same day. Authorities are now seeking to trace the people he was in contact with before his death.

15 000 Rohingyas are quarantined

Since the first cases were detected in mid-May, at least 29 Rohingyas, a Muslim minority persecuted in neighboring Burma and who fled en masse to Bangladesh, have tested positive for the new coronavirus in the Bangladeshi camps.

Faced with the increase in cases of contamination in the camps, Bangladesh placed in quarantine last week nearly 15,000 Rohingyas living there.

Epidemiologists have been dreading for several months the devastation that could cause a Covid-19 epidemic in these sketchy and overcrowded refugee camps. To avoid an epidemic, Dacca has been drastically restricting access to Rohingya camps for several weeks. The numerous NGOs and international organizations present must limit their staff in the field as much as possible and confine themselves to certain essential services, such as food distribution or medical care.

With AFP  )

 ►Also listen : Bangladesh: Rohingya refugee camp lives in fear of the arrival of the coronavirus

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  • Bangladesh
  • Rohingya

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