Data Analytics - Bangladesh Covid -19 Pandemic

Covid-19 Infection Situation in Banglades 

Let’s Not Underestimate Bangladesh’s Covid-19 Infection. 

September 08 2020

Standing as the 10th worst effected country in the world, according to active cases (Ref. worldometer) Bangladesh is yet to increase its testing capacity significantly.

April 05 - District wise Covid-19 infection

July 27 - District wise Covid-19 infection

September 02 2020

Bangladesh has been observing a steady decline in test positivity rate since early August and this rate has been maintained below 20% since August 22. This gives hopes. But at the same time precautionary approaches are to be taken at highest care as the country is now approaching to the monsoon and winter. 

Number of daily tests has also been decreased after June 26th when the country conducted the largest number of daily tests (18498). Superior tracking of the respiratory disease will be possible only if the testing capacity is increased. 

August 27 2020

As of August 27, a total of 304,583 positive cases were detected which constitute 20.3% of the total tests till to date, see: Figure 1, of the total number of tests (positivity rate) with an infection fatality rate (IFR) of 1.35%. Bangladesh stands 9th (August 27) among world countries for most active cases. Contrastingly, it stands way down the list, 158th, among the countries worldwide as regards to number of tests per million population. The testing capacity is very low, till to date, as compared to the neighboring and other countries, see: Figure 2. 

Figure 1: Test positivity rate has not been lowered in Bangladesh since last three consecutive months

Figure 2: Bangladesh testing relatively very low as compared to other nations

Although in the last 3 months, the test positivity rate has never been lower than 20% (see: Plot 1) with a few exceptions of national holidays when a very limited number of tests were conducted, a steady decline in testing has been observed. see: Figure 3. As of August 17th, 66.4% of the confirmed cases are of age group 21-50 years whereas the deadly consequences continue striking the senior citizens as 56.3% deaths are from the age group of 61 years and above, See : Figure 4.   

Figure 3: A steady decline has been observed in daily testing since late June 

Figure 4: The older citizens are most vulnerable in Covid-19 infection 

June -July 2020

The case counts observed around the country might be an underestimation of the real situation. In the beginning of the pandemic, most Covid-19 patients were confined in Dhaka, but due to the lifting of inter-district mobilization restrictions, now the case counts from other districts are increasing at an alarming rate, see following maps which illustrate how the infection spreaded throughout the country. The number of patients outside Dhaka increased by a factor of 12 just in last June and July, whereas the same increased three fold within the capital. Further to this, even if we confine our focus within the capital only, a recent study revealed that nine percent of Dhaka city dwellers have already been infected with coronavirus, clearly indicating that many undetected carriers are contributing in the spreading the infection.

Figure 5: Maps show how Covid-19 infection spreaded throughout the country

The high positivity rate in Bangladesh indicates that many cases do remain undetected and untraced which continues spreading the disease in the community in an unleashed fashion. In contrast to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) strong recommendation of attaining the positivity rate below 5% for at least 14 consecutive days before reopening,  our infection scenario and the testing measures are no where close to that. Figure 6 illustrates few key reopening dates.

Bangladesh, as of July 4th, has a fatality-to-closed case rate of 2.7% as compared to global rate of 8%. This shows an opportunity of containing the pandemic and minimizing loss if decisions are taken appropriately and in timely fashion. As of July 4th, 40.4% infected patients have been recovered with 1.3% deceased, see Figure 7.

Figure 6: Key decision points as of June 

Figure 7: Bangladesh has so far a modest fatality rate and a good recovery rate (July 4)

Significant increases has been observed in daily case counts and most infected patients are aged between 21-40. However, the fatality rate is most among the elderly citizens.  

Figure 8: Young and middle aged people make most of the infected cases (July 4)

Figure 9: Bi-weekly distribution of confirmed cases shows how infection increases over time

CRIDA's Covid-19 Bulletin

CRIDA's Covid-19 Bulletin June 20

CRIDA's Covid-19 Bulletin July 04

CRIDA - Probaho Dialogues on Covid-19