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COVID-19 reaches refugee camps

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 5/13/20, 12:08 pm

An overcrowded UN camp for internally displaced persons in Juba, South Sudan, confirmed its first two cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday. Both patients are South Sudanese nationals in their 20s, said Dr. Matthew Tut, the country’s health ministry emergency preparedness manager. UN camps shelter more than 190,000 displaced people across South Sudan, including nearly 30,000 in Juba. The country reportedly has 194 COVID-19 confirmed cases, zero deaths, and two recoveries as of Wednesday.

Are refugee camps prepared for an outbreak? As of late April, almost none of the 10 million people in similar camps around the world had undergone testing for COVID-19. On Tuesday, Greek officials also reported the first two cases in one of its refugee camps on the island of Lesbos. Camps in Greece host tens of thousands of migrants.

Dig deeper: Read my report with Mindy Belz on how aid groups are racing to protect refugees.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.

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