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24 people tested positive for Covid-19 in Cox’s Bazar where Rohingya refugee camp is located

More than 740,000 Rohingya have fled from Rakhine State, western Myanmar, to neighboring Bangladesh since August 2017 to escape a military crackdown on insurgents. Photo; Kyodo. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

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DHAKA, May 17, 2020, The Daily Star/Asia News Network. Twenty-four people, including a Rohingya refugee, tested positive for Covid-19 Sunday in Cox’s Bazar. The latest positive case of a Rohingya refugee contracting the virus is increasingly worrying for the 900,000 Rohingya refugees living in 34 camps in Teknaf and Ukhia upazilas of Cox’s Bazar, The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

Their cramped quarters mean there is a heightened risk of Covid-19 transmission, with five refugees having already tested positive in the last three days.

The latest tests were conducted at the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR)’s field lab at Cox’s Bazar Medical College.

Samples from 184 persons were tested today and 24 of them came positive for Covid-19, reports our local correspondent quoting Prof Dr Anupam Barua, principal of the medical college.

Among the other new cases, eight are from Chakria upazila, six from Sadar upazila, seven from Ukhia upazila, and one from Pekua upazila of Cox’s Bazar, Dr Anupam said, adding that one other is from Lama upazila of Bandarban.

So far 3,832 samples have been tested at the IEDCR field lab since April 2. Of those, 191 samples tested positive. Among them, 171 are from Cox’s Bazar, nine from Bandarban and six from Chattogram. Five individuals who tested positive are Rohingya refugees living in Cox’s Bazar camps, he also said.

One patient, a woman, died of Covid-19 in the district, he added.

Meanwhile, in a bid to raise awareness among the refugees and host communities, the 10th infantry division of Bangladesh Army are taking different initiatives in the area, according to sources at Ramu Cantonment.

The army has set up a disinfection tunnel at the entrance of Ukhia refugee camp for all vehicles and individuals, sources said.

Also, army personnel have ramped up patrol and check-posts to ensure social distancing and lockdown measures are in place. Only vehicles with clearance documents of Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner’s (RRRC) are allowed entry to the camp.

They are also conducting medical camps besides providing food aid to the people in the district.

All the 1,275 houses in the camp which were locked down yesterday have been marked with red flags to make sure people do not come near the homes. The residents are being provided with all their necessities.

A disinfection tunnel has also been set-up at the entry to Cox’s Bazar district on the Lohagora-Chakria road.

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