Before the whole Coronavirus epidemic started, China was in the limelight because of the Uyghur concentration camp which houses millions of Muslims. Now, the two has collided as the Wuhan Coronavirus has made its way to Xinjiang.
It was reported by Radio Free Asia that two men, aged 52 and 47 have been confirmed to be infected on Thursday (23 January). According to Business Insider, this has prompted fears of close to one million detainees in the camps are helpless against the infection.
Reportedly poor camp conditions and poor infrastructure and detention facilities make it an ideal place for spreading disease and infection. Business Insider also reported that there are at least 465 detention camps throughout Xinjiang. The residents there are said to have plastic bins as toilets and have small rooms so they need to take turns to sleep.
One of the former detainees there that goes by the name of Omir said that he had to share a room with 45 other people and take turns to sleep due to the narrow space. Meanwhile, another detainee, Sayragul Sauytbay, who escaped from the camp in March 2018, said,
“The food there is bad, the bedtime is not good and the hygiene is bad.”
President of the Uyghur World Congress, Dolkun Isa said, as quoted by Business Insider that the introduction of the virus into the camp would have serious implications for detainees. Millions of lives will be threatened.
Meanwhile, James Millward, a professor of Chinese and Central Asian history at Georgetown University, said poor conditions, poor hygiene, cold, and a compromised immune system could cause major catastrophe.
We can only pray for the wellbeing for everyone in Malaysia and those innocent detainees. Hopefully a cure or even a good preventive measure will be produced soon as the global population needs to be protected by the Wuhan Coronavirus.
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