“The mazy hills around Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh are more densely populated than the most crowded cities on earth, with 60,000 to 90,000 people jammed into each square kilometre,” says a news report by the Reuters on Saturday. The news report quoted Rohingya activists on the ground expressing fear that just one case of Covid-19 could spark massive spread of the pandemic like wildfire in the world’s largest refugee settlement, where more than one million Rohingyas reside without necessary facilities. Bangladesh has imposed country-wide lockdown, including the refugee camps, since Tuesday. The Rohingya refugees have been instructed to stay inside their makeshift camps.
Relief workers have warned that it may be impossible to contain the spread once it arrives.Social distancing is impossible as a dozen people reside within single shelters and many more use the same water and toilet facilities.The Rohingya refugees have no access to face masks or hand sanitiser.
The human rights groups have urged the Bangladeshi authorities to lift the shutdown of internet access, which has been in force since September 2019.
Bangladesh’s Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Md Mahbub Alam Talukder told Turkish Anadolu agency on Thursday that the Foreign Ministry has requested the Home Ministry to resume the internet services in the camps.