Does Covid-19 justify turning back refugee boats?

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File pic - Photograph: themalaymailonline.com

A boat carrying hundreds of Rohingya refugees was prevented from entering Malaysian waters due to fears of bringing Covid-19 into the country. But are those fears justified? We explore how countries should be responding towards refugees and asylum seekers during the Covid-19 pandemic. BFM speaks to Matthew Smith, chief executive of Fortify Rights.

Produced by Lim Sue Ann

Presented by Sharmilla Ganesan, Lim Sue Ann and Dashran Yohan

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nair
nair
27 Apr 2020 5.11am

Rohingya left Myanmar and settled in Cox Bazaar. Not satisfied…..Now from there they want to gain Backdoor entry into Malaysia for a quick temporary settlement…. make money and what next?????? Migrate to Australia or New Zealand???? The previous government spent hundreds of million at Cox Bazaar. Its time they spend Tax money for their own rural folks who are suffering…..

Gursharan Singh
Gursharan Singh
26 Apr 2020 11.25am

Any decision may be double edged –
REJECT THEM and GET CHARGED FOR BEING INHUMAN AND NOT CARING
but if allowed to come and they are
ACCEPTED THEN OTHERS MAY COME
which may not be affordable by the country or acceptable to citizens.

Those who call for their acceptance could they be doing so because they do not have to pay for the costs associated with their arrival while they may be safe in their own homes?

Other countries who accepted the millions of immigrants prior to COVID 19 may be regretting their decisions due to objections from locals and the immigrants in the crowded camps may be no safer as limited health facilities may not have been made availabe to them and that they may be of greater risk of infection and lead to ddath.