JBS Vol 23. Num 1. 2021. Article 1 - One and a Half Years into the Pandemic in Bangladesh

Israt Jahan
Kazi Iqbal
Atonu Rabbani
Abu S. Shonchoy

This survey paper compiles the major works on COVID-19 related issues in Bangladesh and intends to take stock of our knowledge and inform policies for better management of the pandemic. We find i) migration patterns can be utilized for better targeting of vulnerable areas without adequate testing and tracing; ii) contrary to the predicted V-shape economic recovery, a CGE model-based exercise suggests a 3.7 percent decline in output; iii) the initial decline in export is primarily due to demand shocks in the destination countries; iv) micro and small enterprises are the worst impacted sectors which need the most government funding; v) the relief package and enhanced social safety-net support for the vulnerable are largely inadequate, inefficient and fraught with delays; vi) 1.5 years of school closure and resulted learning loss is enormous and most likely irreparable; vii) pandemic induced income shocks have triggered more incidences of child-marriage and possible school dropouts for females; viii) vaccine hesitancy is very low, implying adequate supply can bring about a high vaccination rate; ix) severe impact on mental health has been found, demanding special attention, and x) the widespread provision of the correct information is critical to fighting misinformation and misconception about COVID-19.