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AP PHOTOS: Rohingya Muslims await chance to enter Bangladesh

By Associated Press
Published: 04:15 EDT, 2 November 2017 | Updated: 05:56 EDT, 2 November 2017
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By Associated Press

Published: 04:15 EDT, 2 November 2017 | Updated: 05:56 EDT, 2 November 2017

PALONG KHALI, Bangladesh (AP) – The scene has played out with heartbreaking regularity as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled persecution in Myanmar into neighboring Bangladesh: terrified knots of men, women and children crossing the swollen Naf River and waiting along the border for permission to cross.

On Thursday, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving people waited in rice paddy fields at one border crossing for Bangladesh border guards to let them enter. They have been waiting for two days and while they were given packets of food by aid groups, permission to enter eluded them.

So they waited, crouched in the muddy fields. The children carried younger siblings. The elderly were helped along by relatives. Without enough drinking water to go around, many people drank from the muddy canals around the fields.

An exhausted Rohingya lies on the muddy ground after crossing over from the Myanmar border into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

An exhausted Rohingya lies on the muddy ground after crossing over from the Myanmar border into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Most of the refugees had walked for as many as 10 days before they were able to cross the river. Along the way, they said, they were robbed multiple times by Myanmar soldiers of what little cash they had and even belongings like plastic sheets.

All of them were hungry and exhausted. Some collapsed. Others wept as they clung to their children.

The exodus of Rohingya Muslims started Aug. 25 when insurgents attacked dozens of police posts in Myanmar.

The retribution from Myanmar's authorities was swift and brutal.

Hundreds of Rohingya villages in Rakhine state have been set on fire. Fleeing Rohingya have told stories of arson and rape and shootings by Myanmar soldiers and Buddhist mobs.

The violence, which the U.N. describes as ethnic cleansing, has pushed more than 600,000 Rohingya into Bangladesh.

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Rohingya Muslims help another after crossing the Naf river near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya Muslims help another after crossing the Naf river near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims help another after crossing the Naf river near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya women carry children and belongings and walk after having just crossed the Naf river near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. On Wednesday at least 2,000 exhausted and starving people waited in rice paddy fields at one border crossing for Bangladesh's border guards to let them enter. It's a scene that's played out over and over again with heartbeaking regularity as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled persecution in Myanmar and escaped to neighboring Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya women carry children and belongings and walk after having just crossed the Naf river near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. On Wednesday at least 2,000 exhausted and starving people waited in rice paddy fields at one border crossing for Bangladesh's border guards to let them enter. It's a scene that's played out over and over again with heartbeaking regularity as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled persecution in Myanmar and escaped to neighboring Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya women carry children and belongings and walk after having just crossed the Naf river near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. On Wednesday at least 2,000 exhausted and starving people waited in rice paddy fields at one border crossing for Bangladesh's border guards to let them enter. It's a scene that's played out over and over again with heartbeaking regularity as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled persecution in Myanmar and escaped to neighboring Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims carry their belongings and cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. The exodus of Rohingya Muslims, long persecuted in Myanmar, started Aug. 25 when a group of insurgents attacked dozens of police posts. The retribution from Myanmar's authorities was swift and brutal. The violence, which the UN describes as ethnic cleansing, has pushed more than 600,000 Rohingya towards Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya Muslims carry their belongings and cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. The exodus of Rohingya Muslims, long persecuted in Myanmar, started Aug. 25 when a group of insurgents attacked dozens of police posts. The retribution from Myanmar's authorities was swift and brutal. The violence, which the UN describes as ethnic cleansing, has pushed more than 600,000 Rohingya towards Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims carry their belongings and cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. The exodus of Rohingya Muslims, long persecuted in Myanmar, started Aug. 25 when a group of insurgents attacked dozens of police posts. The retribution from Myanmar's authorities was swift and brutal. The violence, which the UN describes as ethnic cleansing, has pushed more than 600,000 Rohingya towards Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya Muslim helps an elderly as they cross over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. The exodus of Rohingya Muslims, long persecuted in Myanmar, started Aug. 25 when a group of insurgents attacked dozens of police posts. The retribution from Myanmar's authorities was swift and brutal. The violence, which the UN describes as ethnic cleansing, has pushed more than 600,000 Rohingya towards Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)A Rohingya Muslim helps an elderly as they cross over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. The exodus of Rohingya Muslims, long persecuted in Myanmar, started Aug. 25 when a group of insurgents attacked dozens of police posts. The retribution from Myanmar's authorities was swift and brutal. The violence, which the UN describes as ethnic cleansing, has pushed more than 600,000 Rohingya towards Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya Muslim helps an elderly as they cross over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. The exodus of Rohingya Muslims, long persecuted in Myanmar, started Aug. 25 when a group of insurgents attacked dozens of police posts. The retribution from Myanmar's authorities was swift and brutal. The violence, which the UN describes as ethnic cleansing, has pushed more than 600,000 Rohingya towards Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims carry their young children and belongings after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya Muslims carry their young children and belongings after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims carry their young children and belongings after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Groups of Rohingya Muslims cross the Naf river at the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. On Wednesday at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river and waited along the border for permission to cross. It's a scene that's played out over and over again with heartbeaking regularity as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled persecution in Myanmar and escaped to neighboring Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Groups of Rohingya Muslims cross the Naf river at the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. On Wednesday at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river and waited along the border for permission to cross. It's a scene that's played out over and over again with heartbeaking regularity as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled persecution in Myanmar and escaped to neighboring Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Groups of Rohingya Muslims cross the Naf river at the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. On Wednesday at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river and waited along the border for permission to cross. It's a scene that's played out over and over again with heartbeaking regularity as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled persecution in Myanmar and escaped to neighboring Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya Muslim helps an elderly as they cross over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. The exodus of Rohingya Muslims, long persecuted in Myanmar, started Aug. 25 when a group of insurgents attacked dozens of police posts. The retribution from Myanmar's authorities was swift and brutal. The violence, which the UN describes as ethnic cleansing, has pushed more than 600,000 Rohingya towards Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)A Rohingya Muslim helps an elderly as they cross over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. The exodus of Rohingya Muslims, long persecuted in Myanmar, started Aug. 25 when a group of insurgents attacked dozens of police posts. The retribution from Myanmar's authorities was swift and brutal. The violence, which the UN describes as ethnic cleansing, has pushed more than 600,000 Rohingya towards Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya Muslim helps an elderly as they cross over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. The exodus of Rohingya Muslims, long persecuted in Myanmar, started Aug. 25 when a group of insurgents attacked dozens of police posts. The retribution from Myanmar's authorities was swift and brutal. The violence, which the UN describes as ethnic cleansing, has pushed more than 600,000 Rohingya towards Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya wade through the Naf river after having just crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya wade through the Naf river after having just crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya wade through the Naf river after having just crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya boy carries a younger child, as others carry their belongings and walk after having just crossed the Naf river near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. On Wednesday at least 2,000 exhausted and starving people waited in rice paddy fields at one border crossing for Bangladesh's border guards to let them enter. It's a scene that's played out over and over again with heartbeaking regularity as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled persecution in Myanmar and escaped to neighboring Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)A Rohingya boy carries a younger child, as others carry their belongings and walk after having just crossed the Naf river near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. On Wednesday at least 2,000 exhausted and starving people waited in rice paddy fields at one border crossing for Bangladesh's border guards to let them enter. It's a scene that's played out over and over again with heartbeaking regularity as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled persecution in Myanmar and escaped to neighboring Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya boy carries a younger child, as others carry their belongings and walk after having just crossed the Naf river near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. On Wednesday at least 2,000 exhausted and starving people waited in rice paddy fields at one border crossing for Bangladesh's border guards to let them enter. It's a scene that's played out over and over again with heartbeaking regularity as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled persecution in Myanmar and escaped to neighboring Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya child sleeps inside a basket in which he was carried as a group of Rohingya fled Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)A Rohingya child sleeps inside a basket in which he was carried as a group of Rohingya fled Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya child sleeps inside a basket in which he was carried as a group of Rohingya fled Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya Muslims cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya Muslims cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslim children stay close to elders as they cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya Muslim children stay close to elders as they cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslim children stay close to elders as they cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya Muslims cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya Muslim woman carries an infant child and walks with a group after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)A Rohingya Muslim woman carries an infant child and walks with a group after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya Muslim woman carries an infant child and walks with a group after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya Muslims cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims crowd an embankment after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya Muslims crowd an embankment after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims crowd an embankment after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims crowd an embankment after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya Muslims crowd an embankment after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims crowd an embankment after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya Muslim carries his belongings and cross over with a group from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)A Rohingya Muslim carries his belongings and cross over with a group from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya Muslim carries his belongings and cross over with a group from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A group of Rohingya Muslims cross into Bangladesh from Myanmar, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)A group of Rohingya Muslims cross into Bangladesh from Myanmar, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A group of Rohingya Muslims cross into Bangladesh from Myanmar, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya Muslim carries an elderly woman through water after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)A Rohingya Muslim carries an elderly woman through water after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya Muslim carries an elderly woman through water after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims cross over the border into Bangladesh from Myanmar, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya Muslims cross over the border into Bangladesh from Myanmar, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims cross over the border into Bangladesh from Myanmar, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

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Australia

Sydney seaplane crash: Exhaust fumes affected pilot, report confirms

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The pilot of a seaplane that crashed into an Australian river, killing all on board, had been left confused and disorientated by leaking exhaust fumes, investigators have confirmed.

The Canadian pilot and five members of a British family died in the crash north of Sydney in December 2017.

All were found to have higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide in their blood, a final report has found.

It recommended the mandatory fitting of gas detectors in all such planes.

British businessman Richard Cousins, 58, died alongside his 48-year-old fiancée, magazine editor Emma Bowden, her 11-year-old daughter Heather and his sons, Edward, 23, and William, 25, and pilot Gareth Morgan, 44. Mr Cousins was the chief executive of catering giant Compass.

The family had been on a sightseeing flight in the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver plane when it nose-dived into the Hawkesbury River at Jerusalem Bay, about 50km (30 miles) from the city centre.

The final report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed the findings of an interim report published in 2020.

It said pre-existing cracks in the exhaust collector ring were believed to have released exhaust gas into the engine bay. Holes left by missing bolts in a firewall then allowed the fumes to enter the cabin.

“As a result, the pilot would have almost certainly experienced effects such as confusion, visual disturbance and disorientation,” the report said.

“Consequently, it was likely that this significantly degraded the pilot’s ability to safely operate the aircraft.”

The ATSB recommended the Civil Aviation Safety Authority consider mandating the fitting of carbon monoxide detectors in piston-engine aircraft that carry passengers.

It previously issued safety advisory notices to owners and operators of such aircraft that they install detectors “with an active warning” to pilots”. Operators and maintainers of planes were also advised to carry out detailed inspections of exhaust systems and firewalls.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55862128

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Australia

Australia unlikely to fully reopen border in 2021, says top official

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Australia is unlikely to fully open its borders in 2021 even if most of its population gets vaccinated this year as planned, says a senior health official.

The comments dampen hopes raised by airlines that travel to and from the country could resume as early as July.

Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy made the prediction after being asked about the coronavirus’ escalation in other nations.

Dr Murphy spearheaded Australia’s early action to close its borders last March.

“I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday.

“Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus,” he said, adding that he believed quarantine requirements for travellers would continue “for some time”.

Citizens, permanent residents and those with exemptions are allowed to enter Australia if they complete a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.

Qantas – Australia’s national carrier – reopened bookings earlier this month, after saying it expected international travel to “begin to restart from July 2021.”

However, it added this depended on the Australian government’s deciding to reopen borders.

Australia’s tight restrictions

The country opened a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand late last year, but currently it only operates one-way with inbound flights to Australia.

Australia has also discussed the option of travel bubbles with other low-risk places such as Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.

A vaccination scheme is due to begin in Australia in late February. Local authorities have resisted calls to speed up the process, giving more time for regulatory approvals.

Australia has so far reported 909 deaths and about 22,000 cases, far fewer than many nations. It reported zero locally transmitted infections on Monday.

Experts have attributed much of Australia’s success to its swift border lockdown – which affected travellers from China as early as February – and a hotel quarantine system for people entering the country.

Local outbreaks have been caused by hotel quarantine breaches, including a second wave in Melbourne. The city’s residents endured a stringent four-month lockdown last year to successfully suppress the virus.

Other outbreaks – including one in Sydney which has infected about 200 people – prompted internal border closures between states, and other restrictions around Christmas time.

The state of Victoria said on Monday it would again allow entry to Sydney residents outside of designated “hotspots”, following a decline in cases.

While the measures have been praised, many have also criticised them for separating families across state borders and damaging businesses.

Dr Murphy said overall Australia’s virus response had been “pretty good” but he believed the nation could have introduced face masks earlier and improved its protections in aged care homes.

In recent days, Australia has granted entry to about 1,200 tennis players, staff and officials for the Australian Open. The contingent – which has recorded at least nine infections – is under quarantine.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55699581

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Australia

Covid: Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown over single infection

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The Australian city of Brisbane has begun a snap three-day lockdown after a cleaner in its hotel quarantine system became infected with coronavirus.

Health officials said the cleaner had the highly transmissible UK variant and they were afraid it could spread.

Brisbane has seen very few cases of the virus beyond quarantined travellers since Australia’s first wave last year.

It is the first known instance of this variant entering the Australian community outside of hotel quarantine.

The lockdown is for five populous council areas in Queensland’s state capital.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the measure on Friday morning local time, about 16 hours after the woman tested positive.

Ms Palaszczuk said the lockdown aimed to halt the virus as rapidly as possible, adding: “Doing three days now could avoid doing 30 days in the future.”

“I think everybody in Queensland… knows what we are seeing in the UK and other places around the world is high rates of infection from this particular strain,” she said.

“And we do not want to see that happening here in our great state.”

Australia has reported 28,500 coronavirus infections and 909 deaths since the pandemic began. By contrast, the US, which is the hardest-hit country, has recorded more than 21 million infections while nearly 362,000 people have died of the disease.The lockdown will begin at 18:00 on Friday (08:00 GMT) in the Brisbane city, Logan and the Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands local government areas.

Residents will only be allowed to leave home for certain reasons, such as buying essential items and seeking medical care.

For the first time, residents in those areas will also be required to wear masks outside of their homes.

Australia has faced sporadic outbreaks over the past year, with the most severe one in Melbourne triggering a lockdown for almost four months.

A pre-Christmas outbreak in Sydney caused fresh alarm, but aggressive testing and contact-tracing has kept infection numbers low. The city recorded four local cases on Friday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has pledged to start mass vaccinations in February instead of March as was planned.

Lockdown interrupts ‘near normal’ life in Brisbane

Simon Atkinson, BBC News in Brisbane

At 8:00 today I popped to the local supermarket for some bread, milk – and because it’s summer here – a mango. I was pretty much the only customer.

When I went past the same shop a couple of hours later it was a different story – 50 people standing in the drizzle – queuing to get inside as others emerged with bulging shopping bags. “Heaps busier than Christmas,” a cheery trolley attendant told me. “It’s off the scale”.

Despite the “don’t panic” messages from authorities, pictures on social media show it’s a pattern being repeated across the city.

While shutdowns are common around the world, the tough and sudden stay-at-home order for Brisbane has caught people on the hop here after months of near normality.

But while such a rapid, hard lockdown off the back of just a single case of Covid-19 will seem crazy in some parts of the world, I’ve not come across too many people complaining.

And I don’t think that’s just because Aussies love to follow a rule. This is the first time the UK variant of the virus has been detected in the community in Australia.

And nobody here wants Brisbane to go through what Melbourne suffered last year. Even if it means going without mangoes.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55582836

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