Rapid Reports and Perspectives From the Field

Translational Strategies to Control and Prevent Spread of COVID-19 in the Rohiynga Refugee Camps in Bangladesh

Authors:

Abstract

The highly contagious SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected 213 countries and territories and six continents as of 1st June 2020. The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified this highly pathogenic outbreak as posing a severe health threat to the global population. The disease is particularly concerning for approximately one million Rohingya refugees living in the world’s largest refugee camp in the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh because of existing poor health determinants. As of 15th May 2020, Bangladesh and UN officials confirmed that ‘two refugees tested positive at the refugee camps in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh where 1,900 other refugees — who may have been in contact with them — are being isolated for tests. Although the incidence rate is low at this stage, epidemiological modelling estimates a mortality rate of 1,500 Rohingya refugees per day. This high rates of mortality warrants to undertake rapid and comprehensive preventative measures to control the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequently reduce aggravating existing humanitarian crisis in the refugee camp. This paper highlights epidemiological insights into the need for a rapid response to COVID-19 in the refugee camps. Subsequently, it offers community, health, and political level-recommendations to help control the spread of COVID-19 among the extremely vulnerable Rohingya refugees. This paper draws upon secondary sources of data, grey literature, published studies as well as personal communication with field officers to offer translational strategies to control and prevent the spread of COVID 19 in the camps.

Keywords:

COVID-19VulnerabilityPandemicRohingya RefugeesBangladesh.
  • Year: 2020
  • Volume: 2
  • DOI: 10.31646/gbio.77
  • Submitted on 4 Jun 2020
  • Published on 24 Aug 2020
  • Peer Reviewed