The cyclonic storm is expected to hit coastal Bangladesh and north-east India threatening millions of people of vulnerable communities already affected by Covid-19 outbreak and economic blow due to lockdown
Oxfam has addressed Cyclone Amphan as "Crisis on top of crisis" that may result in 1.4 million displaced Bangladeshi people, including 600,000 ravaged domiciles.
Cyclone Amphan, the strongest ever cyclone recorded over the Bay of Bengal, is expected to hit coastal districts of Bangladesh and north-east India today threatening millions of people of vulnerable communities already affected by Covid-19 outbreak and economic blow due to lockdown.
Around 12,000 shelters have been prepared in Bangladesh to house nearly five million people in the expected path of the cyclone, as millions are being evacuated in India.
Camps in Cox's Bazar, home to almost a million Rohingya refugees, are likely to be one of the hardest hit victims, especially because of their vulnerable living condition where a rise of Covid-19 cases has been reported recently.
Oxfam Bangladesh Country Director Dipankar Datta said, "It is already a huge challenge to contain the spread of coronavirus amongst the Rohingya refugees living in overcrowded camps, sharing water and toilet facilities." "
"Cyclone Amphan is also a major threat to the millions of vulnerable Bangladeshis living in low-lying flood-prone coastal areas," he added.
Pankaj Anand, director of Oxfam India's Programs and Humanitarian response, said, "Cyclone Amphan is a crisis on top of a crisis. Many of the cyclone evacuation shelters are already being used as coronavirus quarantine centres or housing migrants who have returned to their coastal communities because of lockdown. People are worried there won't be enough space in the shelters and that they might catch coronavirus in them."
Oxfam is working with partner organizations to help evacuate people to cyclone shelters, as well as provide safe drinking water and dry food.
To prevent the spread of coronavirus, the organization is distributing masks, hand sanitizers, and helping authorities to disinfect cyclone shelters.