People on the move also lack access to other basic services – such as water and sanitation or nutrition. In Somalia, it is common for people to use ashes to clean their hands, as there is no soap available, which is not an effective way to prevent the spread of Covid-19. This coupled with malnutrition and chronic ill health, means that the virus is likely to have a higher mortality rate in these places than anywhere else.
Cramped living conditions
In the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, population density averages 40,000 people per square kilometre, but increases to 70,000 in the most cramped areas. Syria, Somalia, and South Sudan is similar, with hundreds of thousands of people – having fled or who are fleeing conflict – taking shelter in crowded settlements and camps.