Coronavirus: Bangladesh locks down 1,000,000 in Rohingya camps

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Bangladesh has imposed a lockdown on a southern district, home to refugee camps housing quite 1,000,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing from Myanmar, to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Officials said no-one was allowed to enter or exit Cox’s Bazar district.No cases are confirmed within the camps, but aid agencies fear an epidemic could overwhelm poor medical facilities.

Most refugees arrived within the camps following a military crackdown within the neighbouring state in 2017.Almost 750,000 crossed the border, joining many thousands of refugees already living there.

Last week Human Rights Watch warned that 350,000 people within Myanmar itself were especially susceptible to coronavirus.Cox’s Bazar district head Kamal Hossain announced the measures late on Wednesday following an increase in cases within the country as an entire .

The number of infections in Bangladesh has doubled to quite 200 within the last five days, with 20 dead.”Entry and exit from Cox’s Bazar district is prohibited from now on,” Mr Hossain said during a statement, adding that “stern action” would be taken against those that violated the order.

Movement of aid workers has been severely restricted.

“Only emergency food supply and medical services can continue add the camps by maintaining extreme caution,” Refugee Commissioner Mahbub Alam Talukder said, quoted by AFP press agency .

Anyone who had arrived within the country recently would need to enter quarantine before visiting the camps, he added.

Aid agencies have expressed fears about the spread of the virus within the camps, due to their cramped living conditions and limited medical provisions including medical care beds.

Police and soldiers have found out roadblocks on main roads round the district and are patrolling in and round the camps.

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