The first wave of COVID-19 cases started in early to mid- March 2020, the rise in cases and deaths was followed with a strict lockdown and associated containment measures.
Following 8 April 2020 a Government directive was adopted to curb the spread of COVID-19, and humanitarian activities were reduced to critical operations only. The lockdowns were gradually lifted from June 2020. The approval to resume essential self-reliance activities was communicated on 12 July 2020. However, a second wave of COVID-19 in Bangladesh started in mid-March when the number of daily recorded cases and deaths started rising sharply. By that time a strict lockdown was imposed on 14 April 2021 which continues to be extended.
Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, the Rohingya and host community have been experiencing the impacts of the containment measures and the contraction of the local economy as a result of successive nationwide lockdowns. This has resulted in exacerbated needs across all humanitarian sectors, livelihoods, food security, shelter, WASH, protection, education, health and nutrition.
These impacts were compounded by other humanitarian emergencies such as the monsoon season in 2020 and 2021, in addition to multiple fires that have ravaged the camps in 2021. In March 2021 a devastating fire broke out in three Rohingya refugee camps, coinciding with the second wave of COVID-19, which have exacerbated many of the humanitarian needs, primarily shelter, protection and health.