No less than 32 folks died and their our bodies had been thrown into the ocean, Islam mentioned, citing statements from the rescued refugees. “The deaths had been because of a number of causes. Some died because of lack of meals whereas some because of numerous diseases,” he mentioned.
Because the boat reached the Malaysian coast, it was turned again by the nation’s authorities, Islam mentioned. The overcrowded trawler then traveled to Myanmar and tried to enter twice however was denied entry by the Myanmar navy, in line with Islam.
The Malaysian coast guard has not but responded to CNN’s request for touch upon Friday.
CNN additionally reached out on Friday to Myanmar’s International Ministry and its embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital, however has not obtained a response.
Bangladesh authorities discovered the trawler within the nation’s territorial waters late Wednesday — after spending 58 days adrift at sea — off the coast of the southern district of Cox’s Bazar.
The spokesman mentioned the rescued refugees, most of whom had been ravenous and dehydrated, had been handed to the United Nations Refugee Company to be quarantined for 14 days because of coronavirus considerations.
“We perceive these males, girls and kids had been at sea for almost two months in harrowing situations and that a lot of them are extraordinarily malnourished and dehydrated,” an official with the UN’s refugee company in Bangladesh mentioned in a press release.
It added that the refugees disembarked from a distressed boat close to Teknaf on Wednesday, near the border with Myanmar.
“We dispatched employees to the positioning Thursday and are searching for additional info from native authorities. Our major concern is for folks’s rapid well being and first help wants. NGOs and companions on the bottom have been offering meals and different help in a single day,” the assertion continued.
In early April, Bangladesh imposed lockdown restrictions in Cox’s Bazar district, dwelling to refugee camps housing round 1 million Rohingya refugees, in a bid to forestall the unfold of coronavirus.
As of April 17, Bangladesh had 2,144 Covid-19 instances with 84 deaths, in line with Johns Hopkins College.
Human Rights Watch urged Malaysia to permit Rohingya refugees ashore whereas setting up techniques to forestall the unfold of the coronavirus.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has solely intensified the distress of the Rohingya confined in Myanmar and in camps in Bangladesh,” mentioned Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
“The Malaysian authorities can each defend towards the unfold of the virus and make sure that these risking their lives at sea are rescued and given an opportunity to hunt asylum.”