To date, no cases of COVID-19 are confirmed among the Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, though there is an increase in confirmed cases in the district.
Government authorities, in consultation with the UN and other humanitarian partners, introduced restrictions on activities in the camps, to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Only critical services and assistance are presently allowed, including programmes in the areas of health, nutrition, food and fuel distribution, hygiene promotion, hygiene kit distribution, water and sanitation activities, construction of health and water and sanitation (WASH) infrastructure, site management support, logistics, identification and quarantine of new arrivals, and family tracing.
UNHCR has reduced movements of staff to the settlements, except for carrying out critical activities in line with RRRC directives.
UNHCR has also raised the need for more focus on the upcoming cyclone and monsoon seasons. There could be life-threatening consequences if annual monsoon preparations cannot be completed on time in Bangladesh, such as improvements to drainage systems and slope stabilization work. These activities were not initially listed as critical but are necessary to reduce potential disaster risks. Similarly, the relocation of refugees living in areas at high risk of flooding and landslides has been delayed due to the COVID-19 measures in place. These issues are being followed up with the authorities.