New York, MINA – Non-governmental organizations urged the international community to protect Rohingya refugees from the threat of coronavirus or Covid-19.
Arakan Rohingya Union (ARU), United States Muslim Organization Council (USCMO), and European Rohingya Council (ERC) in a joint statement said Rohingya refugee camps are very dense in Bangladesh, India and Arakan, Myanmar are very vulnerable to infectious coronavirusvirus.
“For more than 1.2 million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, it is reported to be the largest refugee camp in the world with a population density of more than 40,000 people per square kilometer,” the statement said in a press release received by MINA on Monday.
While in Arakan, more than 200,000 Rohingya refugees and several thousand other ethnic groups live in high-density slum camps.
“Therefore, it urges the international community to mobilize government agencies, the medical community and health care organizations to protect the Rohingya refugee community in South and Southeast Asia during the current Covid-19 global pandemic health crisis,” the statement added.
In addition, they also requested that internet services in refugee camps be re-ignited so that they could provide education about health, sanitation and prevention measures for Covid-19 online.
“Online health care education is one of the most important preventative measures during this critical period,” the statement said.
“We commend the Government of Bangladesh for taking important steps in coordination with WHO, UNHCR and other international institutions to prevent disease and overcome health problems in the camp area and beyond,” the statement added.
However, much more needs to be done to protect the Rohingya refugees who are very vulnerable.
“For this reason, we call on the Myanmar Government to immediately implement concrete actions to protect the Rohingya Refugees and other communities from Covid-19 through coordination with international bodies.
The Myanmar government must also allow international aid groups to send needed medical supplies, sanitation, and food to refugee camps in Arakan.
The Myanmar government and military are also urged not to exploit the COVID-19 global pandemic situation against Rohingya refugees in any form and deliberately putting them in danger. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)