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COX’S BAZAR — Amid internet shutdown in Rohingya refugee camps and their homeland, and spreading of Coronavirus all over the world infecting tens of thousands and killing thousands, various rumours prevail the camps due to lack of access to correct and necessary information.

Instead of employing precautionary and preventive measures introduced by health experts, gripped by panic, refugees all over the camps adopting superstitious measures relying on the rumours.

Woman burning fire to fight Coronavirus

In the last midnight, azan (Muslim call to prayer) was suddenly vociferated all over the camps until the space became uproarious. Corona-panic-hit people were scared and came out of their tents to reciprocate the question, ‘What happened?’ while the answer is in their mind … Corona!

Shortly after the azan, a message was seen circulating among the community members that a new-born baby immediately after his delivery asked to “call azan and to gargle and rinse out the mouth with salty water in order to fight coronavirus”. After uttering this miraculous instruction, the baby passed away.

According to its verification, Rohingya Vision came to know that it is totally baseless rumour and even there is no baby delivered nor died.

A rumour that burning fire at the doorstep could prevent coronavirus also widespread and refugees are burning fire in front of their doors.

A man burning fire in from of his tent to prevent Coronavirus

This was followed by another rumour that by digging a hole in from of the door, some strange stones believed to be the cause of plague are found and removing these stones will save them from facing the coronavirus.

Refugees digging a hole to find out the secret stone, removing of which could save them.

And so on. These are the blessing of internet shutdown by the Bangladeshi government.

Rohingya both in homeland and camps scarcely get information about the plague as the respective governments cut off access to the internet in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

The fears mounted as a local woman tested positive in Cox’s Bazar, the doorstep of Refugee camps. Recently, a refugee family of four members was quarantined in Teknaf as they returned from India.

As many international aid workers and local community workers visit the camps often, it became a matter of concern. The world largest refugee camp has been suffering from a shortage of healthcare, weak hygienic lifestyle, malnutrition, etc.