Measures complying health guidelines is key to preventing COVID-19 spread at IDP camps

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While the coronavirus has infected 111 so far, Health authorities and regional governments are keeping a close watch on developments in regions and states.
With understanding of Coronavirus infection risk at IDP camps in country, Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement adopted the plan for preventing, controlling and Treating coronavirus infection in 128 IDP camps in Rakhine, Shan, Kachin and Kayin states.
Regarding the developing response plans that take into account the living conditions in IDP camps, where overcrowding can increase the risk of disease outbreaks, measures taken at the camps should be in conformity with the health guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Sports.
The regional authorities are installing hand-washing stations in IDP camps and ensuring supply of clean water, hand sanitizer, face masks, disinfecting and food.
The most important fact is that having access to not only water, soap and masks but also food, education and protection for the vulnerable at the IDP camps is crucial.
Regarding the project, it is also important to disseminate knowledge on the prevention and control of the coronavirus infection not only for those living at the IDP camps, but also for those taking administrative duty at the camps.
Upon confirmation of infection dangerous to the public health, anyone at the camp must be removed to the hospital and must be safely kept and receive proper care and attention including medical treatment. Meanwhile, authorities of the regions, where IDP camps are located, and health authorities are advised to provide the regional hospitals with necessary medicines and medical equipment in efforts to give medical care to patients in case the outbreak happens.
Besides, it is worth noting that the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement is planning to provide cash assistance to expectant women, children, and people aged between 60 and 85 to ensure they have access to nutrient food. It is an investment in the care and safety of the whole displaced people. It is essential for the public health.
With the cooperation of the ICRC, volunteers and CSOs, steps should be speeded up to take measures against the COVID-19 disease at the IDP camps.
We will not wait for COVID-19 to reach camps for internally displaced persons before we act.

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