Dhaka – A 71-year old man is the first Rohingya Muslims who died from the novel coronavirus in one of the world’s largest refugee settlements located in south-eastern Bangladesh, officials said on Tuesday.
The man died early on Tuesday, two days after he was diagnosed with the virus at an isolation center run by the charity Doctors Without Border (MSF), said Mahbubur Rahman, civil surgeon of Cox’s Bazar district.
The health official said all members of the deceased have been quarantined after his death at the Kutupalong refugee camp, one of the largest refugee settlement in the world with more than 700,000 people living in one place.
Bangladesh has been hosting more than 1 million Rohingya Muslims who fled persecution in neighbouring Buddhist-majority Myanmar. Of them nearly 750,000 crossed the border after Myanmar launched a military crackdown on the ethnic minority group in August 2017.
The refugees have been living in sprawling camps in the south-eastern Bangladeshi district of Cox’s Bazar bordering Myanmar.
The man was buried at a graveyard inside the camp as per the government health guidelines, said Abu Toha Bhuiyan, who heads the medical teams dedicated for the refuges in the camps.
He was one among 30 refugees who tested positive for Covid-19 in the refugee camps. The camps are still under lockdown, he said adding that the only emergency aid workers are allowed inside.
On May 14, two people, one Rohingya and a local man, were tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the camp.
Bangladesh so far reported more than 50,000 cases of novel coronavirus, with 709 deaths since the first three cases were reported on March 8.