COVID-19 deaths surge in Nigeria refugee camps

Bono refugee camps and COVID-19

from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) AT least 46 people have died of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in congested camps housing people displaced by the Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria.

The deaths are from 618 confirmed cases in the states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

There are 69 active cases and 503 recoveries in the three states since the first index case was reported on April 18 in Borno.

With over 7.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance due to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the region, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed concern at the risk faced by the 1,8 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the three states.

Of these, more than 413 000 internally displaced persons are living in the 51 highly congested camps.

Most are in the Borno capital, Maiduguri, with an average of 12 m2 /person.

“The COVID-19 pandemic presents a more difficult challenge to an already complex humanitarian situation,” said a health spokesperson.

The threat of the COVID-19 pandemic worsens a situation characterised by incidences of chronic malnutrition and endemic malaria coupled with the current measles and expected cholera outbreaks.

Northeast Nigeria is beset by the Boko Haram insurgency.

The Islamist group has killed over 30 000 people since it began its terror in 2009 to overthrow the government while more than three million others have been displaced.

– CAJ News

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