Dhaka, Jun 2 (PTI) Bangladesh has confirmed its first coronavirus death among the Rohingya refugees on Tuesday, amid growing concern from the international rights groups on the high transmission rate in the packed camps which house over a million displaced people from Myanmar, according to media reports.
A 71-year-old man died in the Kutupalong Refugee Camp in southeast Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar city, BDNews24 reported.
'We have bad news. A Rohingya male died from COVID-19 on Sunday, but the result of his test came on Monday. This is the first death in the camps,' Dr Mahbubur Rahman, civil surgeon of Cox's Bazar, told the Dhaka Tribune.
The man was kept in isolation at a facility run by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Another nine refugees who came in contact with the deceased have been sent to the isolation centre, the newspaper reported.
Bangladesh is currently home to over a million refugees from neighbouring Myanmar. The camps in Cox's Bazar are the most populous. At least 29 of the refugees have tested COVID-19 positive.
The camps were shut down after Bangladesh reported its first coronavirus case on March 11.
International rights groups have warned of a potential outbreak if the virus reaches the camps.
The US-based Human Rights Watch has decried the Bangladesh government's lockdown measures which has led to food and water shortages.
“Bangladesh authorities need to protect against the spread of COVID-19 in the Rohingya refugee camps, but every effort should be made to limit the harm from lockdown measures,” said Brad Adams, HRW Asia director.
The camps are a series of plastic shacks which have an extraordinarily high population density.
Mass Rohingya migration began in August 2017 after the Myanmar Army launched an counterinsurgency operation against the Muslims. PTI IND AKJ IND