How Covid-19 was transmitted to the Rohingya refugees is yet to be known
Despite stringent measures, the novel coronavirus has spread its claws in Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar.
Four Rohingya refugees have so far tested positive for Covid-19.
On Friday, samples from 184 suspected patients were tested in Cox's Bazar Medical College lab. Among them, the results of 21 people, including three Rohingyas, came out positive.
Earlier on Thursday, two samples collected from Rohingya camps were tested positive for the coronavirus.
However, the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner's (RRRC) office claims one of the infected patients from Thursday was not Rohingya.
According to the RRRC, the second person, tested on Thursday, was mentioned as a Rohingya because he provided his address of Kutupalong camp while sending samples for test. Later, it has been found that he is a trader who runs a business in the camp areas and lives in Ghumdhum area of Ukhia.
Though the locals are panicked about the outbreak of coronavirus in the Rohingya camp, Mahbubul Alam, the commissioner of the RRRC is not worried that much.
Mentioning that the Rohingyas may get infected further in future, he says, "There is nothing to worry. We have taken preparations in the camp areas to defeat coronavirus through medical treatment," he says.
He also stresses taking preparations to defeat Covid-19 through united efforts.
However, how Covid-19 was transmitted to the Rohingya individuals is yet to be known and steps are underway to test those who came in contact with the infected patients.
Cox's Bazar Medical College lab has tested 3,546 samples since its inception around 45 days ago. Of the samples, 168 tested positive and 152 among those were collected from Cox's Bazar district.
Meanwhile, the United Nations also has expressed its concerns about the Rohingya population in Bangladesh.
Since they are not aware about the outbreak of this disease, there are chances that coronavirus may spread extensively in the camps.
If the Rohingya camps are infected, the virus may spread to the local people as well, and the possibilities still persist. The local people and non-government organisations (NGOs) working there are worried about this matter.
"The administration took measures for lockdown in the beginning to prevent the outbreak of coronavirus as around 11 lakh Rohingya people are living in Ukhia and Teknaf on humanitarian grounds," says Nur Mohammad Shikdar, president of Sushashoner Jonno Nagorik (Sujan) of Ukhia upazila.
But the coronavirus has spread in the camp finally, he added.
Everyone is pointing fingers at NGO officials for spreading Covid-19 in the Rohingya camp as they visited the camps during the lockdown and worked without informing the administration.
Seeking anonymity, a social worker says many NGO officials visited the camp despite the government announced general holiday. They also worked in the Rohingya camps and still some of their programmes are going on.
On the other part, the RRRC office is not finding any logic to hold NGO officials liable for spreading coronavirus in the camps.
"The NGO officials were sent into quarantine for a certain period after they arrived in Cox's Bazar. The infected Rohingya also did not get out of the camp," says Dr Abu Mohammad Twaha, RRRC health coordinator.
Ashraful Afsar, additional deputy commissioner (tax) of the district says they have been successful to prevent the outbreak of Covid-19 for two months.
"Since this is a sudden incident, the RRRC office is taking care of it. And there are isolation measures available in the camp," he added.
The additional deputy commissioner goes on to say that the coordination among the district administration, RRRC and law enforcement agencies is smooth.
Sources of the World Health Organisation are trying to figure out the causes of coronavirus outbreak in Rohingya camp.