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Covid-19 hits Daadab refugee camp

United Nations Refugee Agency has revealed that two refugees in the Dadaab camp have tested positive for Covid-19.

The developments in the camp have raised tension and fears that it could spread in the camps and surrounding communities.

The UN agency said that the crowded state in the Dadaab refugee camp where health services are already under pressure, raise serious concerns about the vulnerability of over 217, 000 refugees.

According to the agency, another 320, 000 persons living near the camps are also potentially vulnerable to the outbreak.

However, so far, no positive cases have been reported in the kakuma camps, which are hosting 196, 000 refugees.

A spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for High Refugees, Eujin Byun said the two infected persons innDadaab have been taken to isolation centers and are currently in stable condition.

The disease surveillance and response team from the Ministry of Health have started contact tracing to also take into isolation those who came into contact with the infected ones.

Ms. Byun added that it is unfortunate and worrying that Dadaab camp has no intensive care units.

However, the UN agency has other resources to respond to coronavirus in the camps.

Dadaab has isolation and quarantine units with a 955-beds capacity and an additional 125 hand-washing stations installed at food distribution sites, markets, and schools.

Also, frontline health workers in the region have been provided with protective equipment, including 45, 000 surgical masks.

There are more than 500 medical workers, including 18 doctors, 150 nurses serving Dadaab’s population.

There are also 4 “oxygen concentrators” available in the camps, which function similarly to respirators, and Ms. Byun said they require little maintenance and minimal skills to operate.

Dadaab households have been given double food rations in order to avoid the need for queuing and social gatherings.

According to the UN agency, donations to the refugees are lagging behind, with only 31 percent of the targeted sum been reached so far.

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