Living in temporary camps without soap or water and being left on the streets after the border closes are some of the aggravations faced during the pandemic by the thousands of people who fled their countries and who today live in conditions in which the virus can spread. quickly.
The call to combat Covid-19 is almost the same around the world: stay at home and be more than two meters from other people when you have to go out. But these measures seem impossible to practice in refugee camps like Kutupalong, in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, where thousands of refugees live for every square kilometer and more than five migrants sleep in tents no more than three meters long.
Consistent hand washing as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) is difficult in places like Lesbos in Greece, where there is only one tap for every 1,300 refugees.
And if a widespread outbreak occurs within a camp in the world, “it is likely that internally displaced persons and refugees will choose to escape again in search of safety, which could trigger a violent reaction from the populations and local authorities. and potentially lead to violence ”, as the IOM warns.
But those are not the only difficulties migrants and refugees face. To the precarious sanitary conditions are added the mobility restrictions that many of the 25.9 million refugees in the world are facing, according to the IOM. This is particularly true in Latin America, since the countries they aspired to reach do not want to receive them during the pandemic and cannot return to their nations of origin because the coronavirus also caused their governments to close their borders.
These are some of the most critical cases in the world where migrants and refugees were left against the wall because of Covid-19.
Migrants from Central America: deported from the north and without an entry ticket
During the pandemic, the United States and Mexico tightened measures to curb the entry of migrants. The government of Donald Trump, for example, suspended until the end of May the permanent residence visas that they gave to legal migrants, has expelled about 10,000 immigrants and those who are held in the detention centers of the Immigration and Control Service US Customs (ICE) are at particular risk of catching the virus.