Officials claimed to have contained an epidemic that infected 1,500 refugees-nearly 10% of them were transferred to Bhashan Char.
Bangladeshi officials stated that they controlled a diarrhoea epidemic, which resulted in the deaths of 4 Rohingya refugees and infected 1,500 people, which shocked the rights organization and the United Nations at the situation in the refugee camps on the island.
Bangladesh has moved 18,000 refugees from the narrow settlements on the mainland to the low-lying Bhashan Char island.
But many people who relocated said they were forced, and the sanitation and other facilities on this silt island are poor, and the area is often hit by deadly cyclones.
Officials and Rohingya sources said that after the first monsoon rains, diarrhea broke out earlier this month.
Two officials on the island told AFP that at least four people have died in the past two weeks, including a 20-year-old woman and three children.
Rahat Tanvir Anwar, a doctor at the island’s only 20-bed clinic, said that at least 1,550 people — nearly 10% of the island’s population — were infected, about 600 people Need to be hospitalized.
“The situation has improved. We added 10 more beds in the hospital to treat patients. On Thursday, there were only 14 diarrhea patients in the hospital,” he told AFP.
A regional health official said that after the authorities quickly distributed 33,000 water purification tablets and 35,000 oral rehydration solutions, the epidemic was under control.
“We have also given them a quick health education so that they will not drink any water other than the water extracted from the deep tube well,” said Masum Iftekhar, the local district health director.
A Rohingya man on the island, who asked not to be named, said that the doctor only gave his three-year-old son normal saline and told him to take the boy home.
“(The doctor) asked me to go to the pharmacy to buy medicine. But it costs money. Where can I get the money? Later, I went to a pharmacy. But there was no medicine there. My baby is still sick,” he told Agence France-Presse.
Saad Hamadi of Amnesty International accused “thousands of Rohingya refugees hastily relocated to the island without allowing rights and humanitarian groups to conduct independent assessments of the conditions on the island.”
The United Nations said earlier this month that although the island “has some potential”, people there need “access to meaningful livelihood opportunities, skill development, education, health and cash to promote daily life”.
Bangladesh denies the allegations that the Rohingya were forcibly relocated and stated that conditions on the island are much better than those on the mainland, where 850,000 refugees have been packed into camps.
The authorities plan to eventually transfer 100,000 of them to Bhashan Char.
In 2017, most of the Rohingya living in Bangladesh fled the brutal military attack in neighboring Myanmar, and UN investigators concluded that they were executed with “genocidal intent”.