· Bangladesh’s Cox's Bazar in virtual lockdown to prevent coronavirus
· US coronavirus bill proposes cash aid to families; New York infection count rises to 4,800
· Russia offers medical help to Italy, where death toll climbs to 5,476
· India locks down New Delhi and scores of other districts to try to contain virus
· Australia to close pubs, cafes and places of worship
Shortwave, 31-meter band 9310 kHz
25-meter band, 11570 kHz, 12030 kHz
Report: Mohammed Rukon Uddin (Cox’s Bazar)
Topic: A Rohingya registered refugee sees worsening conditions in the camp.
Translation summary: Mohammad Iqbal, a registered refugee, came to Bangladesh from Myanmar in 1992. Since then, ethnic Rohingya Muslims “have seen many ups and downs,” said Iqbal, now 52. He recalled forced repatriation in the 1990s, with Rohingya protests. In 2005, UNHCR “approved us as refugees and repatriation stopped.” The Bangladeshi government had eased its initial restrictions on refugees – until more than 700,000 Rohingyas surged into the country following the Myanmar military-led violence in 2017, Iqbal said. He chafes at more recent measures taken by the Bangladeshi government in the name of public safety and security: a clampdown on telecommunications as of September and now fencing around the camp, begun late last year, that will limit freedom of movement.
He also expressed concern about Rohingya children’s restricted access to education. In late January, Bangladesh announced that, in partnership with the United Nations, it would expand formal education to include grades 6 through 9, using Myanmar’s curriculum. UNICEF, the UN children’s agency, has said the pilot program for 10,000 youths would begin sometime in the first half of 2020.
Coronavirus PSA: Mohammad Rukon Uddin
Report: Sabera Begum (Cox’s Bazar)
Topic: A Rohingya camp shopkeeper outlines coronavirus awareness and precautions.
Translation summary: Azimul Khan, 27, lives in Thaingkhali Camp 12 in Cox’s Bazar, where he opened a small storefront 10 months ago. He sells tea, coffee, cold drinks, biscuits and more. He earns at least 200 takas ($2.50) a day, proceeds that he uses to help support 11 relatives. Khan said he has heard radio reports emphasizing good hygiene as a coronavirus precaution.
Topic: COVID-19: Impact on the Rohingya response
Aid groups are warning about the impact of any coronavirus outbreak in refugee communities. The United Nations estimates there are more than 30 million refugees worldwide, many living in conditions ideal for coronavirus transmission. As even rich nations struggle to cope with the pandemic, health experts say it’s vital for the international community to prepare for any outbreak among the world’s most vulnerable groups. Hamid Hussain translates and narrates for Henry Ridgwell.