Covid-19 “could spread like wildfire” in Cox’s Bazar

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ActionAid says Covid-19 “could spread like wildfire” in Cox’s Bazar Rohingya refugee camp.

Farah Kabir, Country Director at ActionAid Bangladesh, is available for video interviews about the risk to Cox’s Bazar Rohingya refugee camp following two confirmed cases of Covid-19.

Farah says, “There is a very real risk that the virus could now spread like wildfire. People are living in incredibly close proximity and many could have been exposed. Every morning I wake up hoping that no cases have been confirmed because of how devastating the impact could be. This is heart-breaking news.

"Typically there are five to seven people living in one 10ft x 15ft shelter made out of bamboo and tarpaulin so social distancing is incredibly difficult. The Rohingya refugees are particularly vulnerable because their nutrition and health has been very poor after fleeing persecution, and now they are living in a very congested space with limited access to clean water. The risks are tremendous.

“Both the Rohingya people and the host community in Cox’s Bazar town are very scared and worried because it’s difficult for them to access correct information. On top of this, the health facilities in Bangladesh are not adequate to deal with the virus - they are currently being pulled in every possible direction during this pandemic.

“It is now critical that ActionAid can continue to work with local women to produce masks for the refugees and share life-saving advice about hygiene measures to prevent the virus spreading. We need to mobilise quickly to help make isolation possible and provide vital medical and health support.”


For further information or interview enquiries, please contact or call 07753 973 486.

Notes to editors:

ActionAid works with women and girls living in poverty. Our dedicated local staff are changing the world with women and girls. We are ending violence and fighting poverty so that all women, everywhere, can create the future they want.