First coronavirus cases in world's largest refugee camp as fears rise for humanitarian disaster

First Covid-19 cases in world's largest refugee camp (PA Images)
First Covid-19 cases in world's largest refugee camp (PA Images)
11:06am, Fri 15 May 2020
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

Two Rohingya refugees have tested positive for the coronavirus in the world's largest refugee camp in Southern Bangladesh.

The camp houses more than one million refugees and has been under lockdown since March 14 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

A person from the Rohingya community and a local from the Cox's Bazar district have both tested positive and are now being treated in isolation, according to Bangladesh's refugee commissioner Mahbub Alam Talukder.

And a UN spokesperson has said teams are working to quarantine and test anyone the patients may have come into contact with.

Bangladesh's confirmed cases continue to rise with over 20,000 cases and 298 deaths so far (PA Images)

Humanitarian groups fears that the virus could spread rapidly through the camp with up to ten people in a room.

Households have to queue up to access drinking water and food at communal distribution points, making social distancing almost impossible.

Around 1,900 other refugees are now being tested (PA Images)

Bangladesh country director at the International Rescue Committee, Manish Agrawal said: "Here, people are living 40,000 to 70,000 people per square kilometre.

"That's at least 1.6 times the population density on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship, where the disease spread four times as fast than in Wuhan at the peak of the outbreak.

“Without efforts to increase health care access, improve sanitation, isolate suspected cases and decongest the camp, the disease will devastate the refugee and local population here, where there is a much lower standard of living and a higher rate of existing illness that make refugees more susceptible to the virus.”

Sign up to our newsletter