Two residents of the camp tested positive for the disease. Almost 1 million people live in the area with poor sanitation.
Two residents of the largest refugee camp in the world, located in Cox’s Bazar in southeastern Bangladesh, tested positive for Covid-19, an infection caused by the new coronavirus. According to the international organization Save The Children, almost 1 million people live in the camp.
Most of the camp’s inhabitants are of the Rohingya ethnicity and come from Myanmar, where they have been persecuted for years. The Rohingya are a Muslim and stateless minority that, in recent times, have been forced to flee due to persecution by other ethnic groups.
The confirmation of the first Covid-19 cases in Cox’s Bazar refugee camp is alarming because, in addition to poor basic sanitation, there are simply too many people living in a considerably small space. “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,” said Shamim Jahan, director of Save the Children in Bangladesh, in a statement.
More than 20 thousand cases have already been confirmed in the country, whose total population is 160 million people. Jahan pointed out that Bangladesh has only 2,000 ventilators (an essential device for treating coronavirus infection) and that the refugee camp has no intensive care bed.
“Save the Children is urgently calling for the international community to stand in solidarity with Bangladesh and provide funds and much-needed medical resources to protect the Rohingya population and the host community,” said Jahan. “Inaction could lead to a disastrous and preventable loss of life. “