Tigrayan refugees face Covid outbreak amid lack of protective equipment )Source: MorningStar)
REFUGEES that have fled violence in Ethiopia are living in overcrowded camps in neighbouring Sudan where medics fear a shortage of protective equipment exposes them to the risk of a deadly coronavirus outbreak.
Tens of thousands are living in the Umm Rakouba camp having crossed the border to escape an Ethiopian government offensive against the northern Tigray region.
But Doctors Without Borders (MSF) spokesman Dr Ali Mohammed warned that there is a desperate shortage of medical supplies with only a limited number of surgical masks available.
He explained that around 20 per cent of the patients he sees have chest-related infections but there is no way of testing them for coronavirus.
More than 45,000 refugees are living in cramped conditions and queue together for food, cash and registration with aid agencies.
“The problem becomes bigger because the person that comes here will go back to their camp or where he lives surrounded by people, so they could spread it very easily,” Dr Mohammed said.
“This is all a risk that Covid-19 could spread more and more if it is found.”