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Rohingya Crisis: Secondary impacts of COVID-19: Potential consequences of the May 2021 containment and risk mitigation measures

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On 5 April 2021, the Government of Bangladesh instituted a second national lockdown and imposed new containment and risk mitigations measures (RRRC 05/04/2021). The second lockdown follows a steep increase in COVID-19 transmission rates. On 19 May 2021, five camps with the highest number of cases were placed under complete lockdown while the remaining 34 camps were subject to heavier COVID-19 containment and risk mitigation measures. Under the new guidance, only health activities and food and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) distributions will be allowed. Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities but must be implemented by Rohingya volunteers under remote management or by staff adjacent to the camps. All other humanitarian activities have been temporarily suspended, including monsoon preparedness (RRRC 19/05/2021).


This report builds upon the 2020 COVID-19 and Secondary Impacts report and the 2020 Impact of the Monsoon and COVID-19 Containment Measures report. The report includes an analysis of publicly available secondary data and focuses on the anticipated secondary impacts resulting from the lockdown measures. It does not seek to predict the direct impact of COVID-19 in Cox’s Bazar or to assess the humanitarian response’s capability to respond to a second wave of COVID-19.


This document should be used with additional and more specific research to inform preparedness and response planning. As this is an evolving situation, measures are changing quickly and directives are sometimes unclear. While the long-term secondary impacts of COVID-19 remain unknown, this report anticipates the short-, medium-, and expected long-term impacts based on the current situation.