Originally published in concern.net on 14 August 2020

In Bangladesh, the first three known cases of Covid-19 were reported on 8 March 2020. On 22 March, a 10-day shutdown effective from the 26th of the month was declared. Subsequently the government asked the army to enforce social distancing strictly, with teams of soldiers deployed across the country, leaving the streets empty in the capital Dhaka and most roadside shops closed. As of 18 June, there were 98,489 reported cases (with 26,853 recorded in Dhaka and 3,809 in Chattogram).

Bangladesh exemplifies the triple blow that many countries have suffered from Covid-19:

  • domestic slowdown caused by the disease and the efforts to contain its spread;
  • a sharp decline in exports, and
  • a drop in remittances

In this brief, we report on the experiences of a number of people in Dhaka and Chattogram on the impact of the pandemic and the subsequent response. All are currently included on Concern Worldwide’s Improving the Lives of the Urban Extreme Poor (ILUEP) livelihood programme which is funded by Irish Aid.