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Homeland Security

First Rohingya Refugee in Bangladesh Dies of Coronavirus

By VOA News June 02, 2020

Bangladesh has confirmed the first coronavirus death among the nearly one million Rohingyas living in the country's overcrowded refugee camps.

Bangladesh health official Toha Bhuiyan told reporters the victim was a 71-year-old man who died Saturday at an isolation center on Cox's Bazar. The man was among 29 Rohingya refugees who have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks.

The Bangladesh government and aid agencies have established several isolation centers to treat the coronavirus patients. Humanitarian agencies have warned for weeks of a potentially huge outbreak among the refugees, who live shoulder-to-shoulder with no ability to maintain a healthy distance.

More than 700,000 Rohingyas living in the Cox's Bazar camps crossed over from neighboring Myanmar to escape a brutal, scorched-earth military campaign against them in 2017 that the United Nations described as ethnic cleansing – involving mass rapes, killings and torching of homes. Buddhist-majority Myanmar does not consider the Rohingya citizens, despite the fact they have lived in the country for generations.

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