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COVID-19: At least 34 Rohingya camps in Bangladesh put on lockdown

Only emergency health services and distribution of food aid will be allowed in the camps, a news organisation quoted Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Md Mahbub Alam Talukder as saying.

Published: 10th April 2020 01:49 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th April 2020 01:49 PM   |  A+A-

In this Wednesday, April 1, 2020, photo, Golforaj Begum, a 54-year-old Rohingya refugee, sits at the Kutupalong refugee camp, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

In this Wednesday, April 1, 2020, photo, Golforaj Begum, a 54-year-old Rohingya refugee, sits at the Kutupalong refugee camp, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. (Photo | AP)

By IANS

DHAKA: Bangladesh authorities have put 34 Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar as well as the entire district on lockdown amid a surge in the number of coronavirus cases in the country, it was reported.

Only emergency health services and distribution of food aid will be allowed in the camps, bdnews24 quoted Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Md Mahbub Alam Talukder as saying on Thursday.

"We will not allow people to roam about for good reason," he said.

The district's Deputy Commissioner Kamal Hossain imposed the ban on travel to and from the district on Wednesday.

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The inhabitants of the district will be under lockdown for an indefinite period, he said.

The authorities announced the shutdown of all tourist spots in Cox's Bazar last month.

"In fact, an unofficial lockdown of the refugee camps had already been there since March 11," bdnews24 quoted Mahbub as saying.

Vehicles moving into the camps for emergency reasons will require permission of his office, he said.

Army personnel sealed off the camps while police and Rapid Action Battalion were patrolling inside, Mahbub said.

The number of infections in Bangladesh has increased to 330, with 20 dead.

Most of the Rohingya refugees arrived in the camps following a military crackdown in the neighbouring state in 2017, said a BBC reported.

Almost 750,000 crossed the border, joining hundreds of thousands of refugees already living in Cox's Bazar.

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