Two residents of the Dadaab complex have tested positive for Covid-19, the United Nations refugee agency has announced.
These first confirmations of the presence of the Coronavirus are raising fears that it could spread in the camps and surrounding communities.
“The crowded conditions in the Dadaab refugee camps, where health services are already under pressure, raise serious concerns about the vulnerability of over 217,000 refugees,” the UN agency said. It noted that another 320,000 persons living near the camps are also potentially vulnerable to the outbreak.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman said that the two cases were from Ifo and Dagahaley camps.
Due to overpopulation, the nature of congestion and poor hygiene standards in refugee camps, the announcement will raise fears of a possible rapid spread of the virus if the situation is not well handled quickly.
A charity organization CARE has expressed its concern saying Dadaab has no health infrastructure in place that could deal with an outbreak. Philippa Crosland-Taylor, the country director said that a potential outbreak would be a “disaster”.