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Tokyo should not be blind to plight of refugees in virus crisis

23 4 3

The new coronavirus pandemic is threatening to ravage the world's most vulnerable people.

In many parts of the globe, internal and international refugees who have fled from conflict and persecution are finding themselves trapped in a deepening humanitarian crisis.

The international community should not become oblivious to its responsibility to protect human lives.

Earlier this month, two refugees tested positive for the new coronavirus in the world’s largest refugee camp for minority Rohingya Muslims who have fled to escape persecution in Myanmar.

These were the first confirmed cases among refugees in the overcrowded camp in neighboring Bangladesh, where more than 1 million Rohingya live. The refugee camp is so cramped that social distancing is impossible, a perfect breeding ground for a contagion.

With highly limited access to water, food, health care and basic sanitation, refugee camps are desperately ill-prepared to deal with the worsening of the health conditions due to the outbreak.


© The Asahi Shimbun