Banda Aceh, Aceh (ANTARA) - Rohingya refugees residing in a camp at a vocational training center (BLK) in Lhokseumawe City, Aceh, have been given the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Rohingya Refugee Handling Task Force has informed.

The vaccination was organized by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the Lhokseumawe Health Office, Spokesperson for the Rohingya Refugee Handling Task Force Marzuki said on Friday.

"Rohingya refugees who joined the vaccination were 32 people from the total 41 who have been accommodated at a temporary camp at the Lhokseumawe vocational training center," he informed.

Ninety-three refugees were administered the first dose at an earlier program, he said. However, currently, 41 refugees are residing at the camp, while the others have fled, he added.

Indonesia had offered refuge to 105 Rohingyas on December 31, 2021, after their boat had gone adrift in the Malacca Strait.

At least 67 of the 105 refugees fled from the refugee camp, and four others who had earlier been accommodated outside Aceh also left the camp, Marzuki said.

The refugees who left were predominantly women, and they ranged from teenagers to adults, he informed.

Related news: Navy ship tows boat carrying Rohingya refugees to Aceh port

They escaped during rain and lights out through the back fence of the camp, he said.

Marzuki then urged the UN High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) to immediately move the refugees to Medan City, North Sumatra, to avoid the risk of more refugees fleeing the camp.

"The Lhokseumawe administration welcomed the refugees, but it is better for the Rohingya refugees to be relocated to a permanent accommodation in Medan," he said.

Meanwhile, the Commander of Foreign Refugees Handling Task Force in Lhokseumawe Muslim requested the UNHCR and IOM to encourage Rohingya refugees to not be influenced by syndicates involved in human trafficking, in addition to educating them about local wisdom and the Indonesian government's rules.

Related news: UNHCR calls for urgent disembarkation of Rohingya refugees in Aceh

Translator: M Agus, Kenzu T
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
Copyright © ANTARA 2022