Responding to COVID-19 in the Developing World
By Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak
Is the social-distancing strategy used in the United States an effective response to COVID-19 in a developing country like Bangladesh?
There are several reasons why the types of strategies that we’re seeing in the U.S. or China or South Korea or Singapore are unlikely to be the exact right response for rural areas of Bangladesh.
One key difference is that we don’t have much testing going on, especially in rural areas. The testing that is available is limited to a few urban centers, so it’s difficult for us to get information on exactly where the disease is emerging and spreading in rural areas. Absent that information, it becomes very difficult for us to figure out how we allocate and direct resources. What are the hotspots? We need to make some indirect inferences on that, and that poses some data and statistical challenges.
Photo courtesy of Ismael Ferdous.