In one of the most densely populated refugee camps on earth, 15,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees are in quarantine to contain a potentially dangerous outbreak of the coronavirus. Thus far, 29 COVID-19 cases have been diagnosed in the massive Cox’s Bazar camp in Bangladesh. Some 740,000 Rohingyas were brutalized and driven out of their villages by the Myanmar Army in 2017, and forced to flee to neighboring Bangladesh. Now, according to The Independent, the lockdown is disrupting the distribution of food aid and creating conditions for a dramatic rise in gender-based violence.
(“15,000 Rohingya Under Quarantine,” AL Jazeera, May 26, 2020; “Yale Study of Refugees in Bangladesh Aims to Prevent Covid19 Spread,” Yale News, May 26, 2020)
For years, conflict in the Sahel region of West Africa was driven by an alliance between local chapters of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. Now, with the U.S. pulling troops out of the Sahel — and the world focused on the coronavirus, a new rivalry between Islamic militants erupted into the open with new attacks and ideological warfare.
Biotech giant Gilead’s stock price soared after Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, endorsed using the company’s anti-viral drug remdesivir to treat patients suffering with the coronavirus. States scrambled to get doses of remdesivir, despite the fact that Gilead hasn’t released data on the drug’s effectiveness in combatting COVID-19.
(“Despite the Hype, Gilead’s Remdesivir Will Do Nothing to End the Covid19 Pandemic,” The Intercept, May 26, 2020)
This week’s News Summary was narrated by Anna Manzo.