The refugees live in shanties, so close to each other that maintaining social distancing is quite impossible. The camps lack water, electricity, and proper toilets. Women and children are falling sick due to lack of proper hygiene. They fear if the conditions continue, they might get infected with the coronavirus.
Apart from the fear of infection, many say hunger is also killing them. Many are having a hard time finding a job or making money.
The coronavirus pandemic in India has made the lives of Rohingya refugees more precarious.
Most of these refugees work as a daily wage workers or scrap collectors to make a living, but the lockdown and government restrictions have left many out of work amid a vicious campaign by the ruling BJP to expel them from the country. Now their future is in limbo.
The UNHCR, which is responsible for supporting the refugees, has been doing very little so far. Activists stress that the most urgent needs of these refugees are food, water, and other basic essentials.
At the moment, more than 4,000 registered Rohingya refugees live in India. The Muslim minority group is struggling with starvation and unemployment. Now all they have is a little help from some NGOs and charity groups.
It is still unknown how long they can survive on the charities’ help and evade the virus. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in India has now surpassed three million people, and around 57,000 fatalities have been registered.