Covid-19 could absolutely devastate the Rohingya population
Now that Covid-19 has been confirmed amidst the Rohingya population in the camps in Cox’s Bazaar, there is no alternative but to act as swiftly and decisively as possible.
To that end, it is encouraging to see that a 210-bed isolation and treatment centre is being prepared by Unicef for the treatment of the Rohingya who get infected by the virus.
However, it is the speed with which it is to be completed that must be adhered to-- 90 of the 210 beds are set to be ready by May 22, and the rest by May 30.
The urgency that is being shown is both commendable and necessary; Covid-19 could absolutely devastate the Rohingya population, and we must take all necessary steps to ensure that they are protected as much as possible.
Hence, it is extremely important for the preparations to go through as per the timeline, and we hope that no unnecessary bureaucracy or other hindrances deter and delay the swift finalization of the treatment centre.
Additionally, it is vital for Unicef, along with its partners, and all the authorities concerned, to continue to provide support to the Rohingya population -- whether that be through providing soap and water, encouraging and educating people on safer sanitation and hygiene, or disinfecting facilities within the camps.
The Rohingya have already suffered endlessly, and continue to live in hardship in the camps. As such, we must remain pro-active in our efforts to protect them from the deadly effects of the pandemic, or risk a catastrophic situation.