“This is critical to saving lives and reducing the impact of the virus, particularly in developing countries,” he said. UNHCR Spokesperson Andrej Mahecic Tell A periodic press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
Although the countries of Asia and the Pacific host the vast majority of the more than 80 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, they have benefited from only a small part of the world. Covid-19 patents, according to the agency.
“We suffered a lot because of the lack of income…Sometimes we didn’t have enough food.”
For Rohingya refugees and their host communities, COVID-19 is not just a health risk. https://t.co/6eciNeNY1K
– The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) June 1, 2021
Concern about the situation in the region continues to rise as the number of cases has risen to the largest increase globally.
The Commission stressed that the epidemic will only be defeated when vaccines are available everywhere “on a fair basis”.
Struggling with mutations
During this period, around 38 million cases of COVID-19 have been recorded along with more than half a million deaths, destroying many of the region’s already fragile health systems.
“Lack of hospital beds, oxygen supply, limited intensive care unit (ICU) capacity and scarcity of health facilities and services have exacerbated outcomes for those infected with COVID-19, particularly in India and Nepal,” said Mr. Mahecic.
Moreover, the highly contagious type of virus that first appeared in India “threatens rapid spread in the sub-region”, including among the refugee population.
Amid crowded places, limited water and inadequate sanitation, refugees remain at particular risk of contracting COVID-19.
In Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, where nearly 900,000 Rohingya refugees live in the world’s largest and most densely populated cluster of refugee camps, the number of cases has jumped dramatically in the past two months, UNHCR confirmed.
“As of May 31, more than 1,188 cases have been confirmed among refugees, with more than half of these cases recorded in May alone,” the agency’s spokesperson told reporters.
“We have also seen an alarming increase in the number of COVID-19 cases among refugees and asylum seekers in Nepal, Iran, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia,” he said.
Shots on the go
While efforts are underway to mitigate the spread of Corona VirusPreventive measures should be supplemented with intensive vaccinations.
Although some refugees, including in Nepal, received their first jab COVAX– Supplies provided, not a single vaccine has been given to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
The country’s scarcity of supplies means that some of the world’s most vulnerable people remain vulnerable to contracting the virus.
“The Commission is adding its voice to calls for countries with excess doses to donate COVAX, urging manufacturers to boost supplies to COVAX . facilityMr. Mahecic said.
UNHCR’s total financial needs, included in its regular budget, include $455 million in supplementary needs and $469 million for coronavirus-related activities.
To date, including expected contributions, UNHCR has received $252.8 million, or only 27 per cent of these needs.
© UNICEF/Amarjit Singh