The novel coronavirus or COVID-19 has got detected in one of the camps located in southern Bangladesh that are home to over one million Rohingya refugees, officials stated on Thursday.
An ethnic Rohingya refugee and also another person got tested positive for the coronavirus, a senior Bangladeshi official, and a U.N. spokesperson stated. It was the confirmed novel virus case in the camps that are much more densely populated compared tp the most crowded cities on the Earth.
Coronavirus infections have been gathering pace in Bangladesh
"Today they have been taken to an isolation center after they tested positive," Mahbub Alam Talukder, the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner, told Reuters by phone. The other patient was from the "host population", a term usually used to refer to locals living outside the camps, the U.N. spokeswoman said.
Coronavirus infections have been gathering pace in recent days in Bangladesh, which has reported 18,863 cases of COVID-19 and 283 deaths. Aid workers have warned of a potential humanitarian disaster if there is a significant outbreak in the refugee camps outside Cox's Bazar.
As many as 60,000 to 90,000 people are jammed into each square kilometer, with families of up to a dozen sharing small shelters. More than 730,000 Rohingya arrived from Myanmar in late 2017 after fleeing a military crackdown. Myanmar is facing charges of genocide at the International Court of Justice in the Hague over the violence. The army denies genocide, saying it was fighting a legitimate battle against Rohingya militants who attacked first.
(With agency inputs)