Bangladesh Research Institute for Development (BRID)

Bangladesh Monitoring Report on the SDG16+ during the COVID-19 pandemic-2020: Online Kathmandu Democracy Forum (KMDF)

Key Issues

  • Health: Concerns continue to grow in Bangladesh over the country’s limited corona virus testing capacity, with experts urging the government to focus on increasing daily tests to ensure a successful fight against the pandemic. The huge number of affected people against a small number of hospitals and health care providers made our health service management vulnerable
  •  Patients with serious complications are being returned as there no free ICU. Most of the patients are starting to take treatment from home, especially those who are in acute condition. The first death of a doctor was reported in April, 2020.
  •  Since the COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020, there has been a sharp decrease in the number of people accessing basic primary health services through community health structures such as community clinics, expanded programme for immunization sites and Union Health and Family Welfare centers.
  • The 1st confirmed case : 08th March,2020 & Confirmed cases till 30 October,2020:463064
  •  The 1stDeath 18thMarch 2020 and death till 30 October,2020 : 5905
  •  Lives and livelihoods:The humanitarian impact is likely to be among already at-risk ethnic community , low-income families, people with disabilities, returnee migrant workers, informal and low wage earners such as daily women headed household, dalits, rickshaw pullers, small street tea stall workers, street fruits/vegetables sellers , transgender and sex worker and tea plantation workers.
  •  Education: Due to the school closure, a higher number of children are staying at home. Poor children especially don’t have access to TV/ online based learning. Lower enrolment appears as a vulnerable human capital. If the closure of schools prolongs, children from poor and marginalized may discontinue their education (opportunity cost) depicting a risk of increasing numbers out of school.
  • Food Security is the composition of four components; Food Availability (production and Import), Access to food (physical & economical), Food Utilization & Food Stability. All these 4 dimensions directly or indirectly challenged due to the COVID-19.
  • A significant portion of the non-government job holders including RMG sector, private companies, tourism, private schools, NGOs, hotels job holders lost their job. The wages of many private sectors have been decreased to half due to covid-19.
  • A large number of migrant workers have been sent back to Bangladesh and many are in constant fear of being sent back due to the impacts of COVID-19 in their host countries.
  • Older people are more vulnerable to infections due to COVID-19
  • The lack of democratic decision-making and multi-party participation has also been paired with an alarming risk of lack of governance and accountability. Government is less interested to involve other political parties and civil societies to overcome the COVID-19.
  • Some elected local leaders have indulged in misappropriation of the relief products. As a response, the government withdrew politicians from the relief plan and instead tasked 64 of the most senior civil servants to coordinate relief-distribution. This shows how the crisis management has become increasingly bureaucratized.
  • Reliable, accurate, and accessible information about the pandemic is essential to reducing the risk of transmission of the virus and to protecting the population against dangerous disinformation. Unfortunately government officials including medical personnel were instructed that not to speak to the media and government employees have been told not to like, share or comment on social media posts.