COVID-19, which has already infected 88 people and killed eight in Bangladesh, poses a serious risk to the country’s million or so Rohingya refugees and their host communities.
To prepare people for the pandemic, our partner, Caritas Bangladesh has distributed 114,080 leaflets and 400 posters containing government- and WHO-issued health and safety information to 225,000 people. It has also:
- Furnished its offices with hygiene supplies
- Released emergency funds to local offices
- Formed national, regional and local coronavirus vigilance committees
- Cancelled most meetings, gatherings and travel
- Ordered staff returning from overseas to self-isolate
- Instituted work-from-home regimes
- Provided centralized information and support resources to staff
- Reorganized rotas to minimize fieldwork
In Cox’s Bazar, Caritas Bangladesh has had to suspend almost all activities in refugee camps until at least April 14. Soap and water for handwashing have been provided at camp entrances. Small work teams trained in safety procedures are continuing to distribute monsoon-proofing kits and supervise basic infrastructure upkeep and upgrading with due regard to physical distancing.