• Wednesday, Nov 25, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:32 am

Women more vulnerable to Covid-19 at Rohingya camps

  • Published at 10:23 am November 9th, 2020
Rohingya refugees
Rohingya refugee women hold placards as they take part in a protest at the Kutupalong refugee camp to mark the one-year anniversary of their exodus in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, August 25, 2018. REUTERS

Women lead the Covid-19 infection cases at the camps with 53%

While more men are dying worldwide from coronavirus compared to women, the situation is completely the opposite at the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh.

In Bangladesh, the death rate from Covid-19 for men is at 76.97% and 23.03% for women, according to statistics compiled by Directorate General of Health Services on November 6. 

However, out of nine deaths from coronavirus reported from Rohingya camps of Cox’s Bazar, 56% were women and 44% were male, said data by World Health Organisation (WHO).

For these nine deaths, in the age-based category, all the male deaths were reported to be among people aged over 60 years, while for females, it was 33% for ages between 51 and 60 years and 11% each for the 41 to 50 years category and below 10 years category, said a WHO situation report as of November 1.

Currently, over a million Rohingyas are being sheltered at camps in the coastal town of Cox’s Bazar in southern Bangladesh.

Camps with higher cases

As of November 1, a total of 14,363 tests were conducted and 336 Covid-19 cases were reported among Rohingya people, who are now residing in the world’s largest refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar.

Here, women lead the tally of Covid-19 patients at the camps with their infection rate being  53%.

Interestingly, people aged below 10 years are found most vulnerable for coronavirus infections in camps, while people aged below 10 years saw the highest percentage of infection – 17% male and 18% female.

Among the camps, the highest number, 49 confirmed cases, was reported from Camp 24, Camp 2W with 31 cases, and Camp 3 and Camp 15 each with 24 cases respectively.

Camp 4, 1W and 7 reported 12 cases each. Camp 17 had 11 cases, while there were 10 each from Camp 1E and Camp 10. 

A total of 20 cases were reported from Camp 6, and 15 cases from Camp 2E. Camp 18 and Camp 26 reported 9 cases.

Also read- Covid-19 in Rohingya refugee camps

As for Camp 5 and Camp 9, 8 cases were reported. Camp 12, Camp 16 and Camp 22 registered 7 cases each till November 1.

Camp 8W, Camp 11, Camp 19, Camp 20 (Extension) and Nayapara RC identified 5 cases while the rest of the camps had less than 5 cases.

Steps taken

The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Rohingya camps of Cox’s Bazar remains lower than initially estimated, says WHO.

A WHO situation report said the Institute of Epidemiology and Disease Control Research (IEDCR), with support from WHO, UNHCR, BDRCS and MSF, was working to undertake a seroprevalence study in all 34 camps to identify antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of Covid-19, to understand more about Covid-19 transmission in the camps,.

A community-based mortality surveillance is expected to start by the end of November 2020.

Supportive supervision of community-based mortality surveillance is under development and being revised by relevant partners to assist the Community Health Workers’ Group implementing effective mortality surveillance, the report added.

When asked why the coronavirus detection and death rate is higher among women, Cox’s Bazar Civil Surgeon Mahbubur Rahman said the rate of death rate is still low among the Rohingya community and they are taking steps on how the infection can be contained minimised in the camps.

“We have not analysed the trend on male and female ratios. We may look into it,” he says.

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