Bangladesh limits Rohingya camp activities 

Diplomatic Correspondent | Published: 00:17, Mar 26,2020 | Updated: 00:21, Mar 26,2020


The government has taken steps to scale down several activities inside the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar for reducing risks of spread of COVID-19, a global pandemic.

‘The goal is to reduce staff footprint of the operation, and to minimise risk within the camp setting while ensuring that some assistance and services are scaled up in light of the required COVID-19 response,’ refugee relief and repatriation commissioner Md Mahbub Alam Talukder said in circular issued on Tuesday.

The government temporarily closed educational facilities, learning centres and training facilities without fixing any date to open the services in these facilities again.

The government suspended for next 15 days emergency shelter distribution, temporary shelter assistance, registration and verification process in the camps.

All shops, excluding kitchen market meant for vegetables, fish, meat etc., will remain closed inside the camps until further notice. 

All health and nutrition facilities, information hubs, individual protection services, food distribution, LPG distribution, water and sanitation activities, logistics services and reception of new arrivals and family tracing would, however, continue.

The COVID-19 related awareness activities would continue with maintaining social distance.

The number of case workers and site management staff would be reduced to 50 per cent of the usual number.

The Office of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner has stopped granting new permission to foreign nationals to visit the Rohingya camps, an official at the RRRC office told New Age.

The death toll in coronavirus pandemic reached five in Bangladesh on Wednesday and the country has so far 39 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research director Meerjady Sabrina Flora.

The latest Rohingya influx that began from August 25, 2017 took the number of undocumented Myanmar nationals and registered refugees in Bangladesh to about 11,16,000, according to estimates by UN agencies and Bangladesh foreign ministry.  

Want stories like this in your inbox?

Sign up to exclusive daily email